Effects of the Consumption of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia spp.) and its Products on Blood Glucose Levels and Insulin

A Systematic Review

Caroline A Gouws, Ekavi N Georgousopoulou, Duane D Mellor, Andrew McKune, Nenad Naumovski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background and Objectives: There is confusion as to which component of the Opuntia spp. cacti has demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic effects or anti-diabetic properties. It is important to clarify these health benefits due to the increasing need for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The aim of this review is to identify the effects of Opuntia spp. cacti consumption on biomedical measures; glucose and insulin with consideration of its' components; fruit, leaf and combined or unidentified Opuntia spp. products. Materials and Methods: Prior to commencing the searches, this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018108765). Following the PRISMA 2009 guidelines, six electronic databases (Food Science and Technology Abstracts (EBSCO), Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cochrane) were searched for articles investigating the effect of Opuntia spp. consumption on glucose and insulin in humans. Results: Initially, 335 articles were sourced and filtered by exclusion criteria (human interventions, control trials and articles published in English) resulting in 20 relevant articles. The included studies were characterized by such plant components as fruit (n = 4), cladode (n = 12), and other Opuntia spp. products (n = 4), further separated by clinical populations ('healthy', hyperlipidemic, hypercholesterolemic, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus). The findings of this review indicate variations in effects between cacti components and products. Cladode and select Opuntia spp. products predominately demonstrated significant reductions in serum glucose and insulin, indicating potential as a functional food candidate. Prickly Pear fruit was predominately reported to have no significant effects on glucose or insulin. The quality of evidence appeared to vary based on the type of Opuntia spp. product used. Studies that used specifically the fruit or cladode had high risk of bias, whereas studies which used combined Opuntia spp. products had a lower risk of bias. Numerous mechanisms of action were proposed where positive findings were reported, with emphasis on dualistic glucose-dependent and independent actions, however, mechanisms require further elucidation. Conclusion: Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support the recommendation of using Opuntia spp. fruit products as an alternative or complementary therapy in the reduction of risk or management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The Cladode does however show promise in potential glucose-lowering effects which warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMedicina
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019

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Opuntia
Blood Glucose
Insulin
Cactaceae
Fruit
Glucose
Food Technology
Complementary Therapies
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Plant Structures
Pyrus
Functional Food
Risk Management
Insurance Benefits
Chronic Disease
Databases
Guidelines

Cite this

@article{68ef1434810941269e67cad2a704c3d8,
title = "Effects of the Consumption of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia spp.) and its Products on Blood Glucose Levels and Insulin: A Systematic Review",
abstract = "Background and Objectives: There is confusion as to which component of the Opuntia spp. cacti has demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic effects or anti-diabetic properties. It is important to clarify these health benefits due to the increasing need for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The aim of this review is to identify the effects of Opuntia spp. cacti consumption on biomedical measures; glucose and insulin with consideration of its' components; fruit, leaf and combined or unidentified Opuntia spp. products. Materials and Methods: Prior to commencing the searches, this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018108765). Following the PRISMA 2009 guidelines, six electronic databases (Food Science and Technology Abstracts (EBSCO), Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cochrane) were searched for articles investigating the effect of Opuntia spp. consumption on glucose and insulin in humans. Results: Initially, 335 articles were sourced and filtered by exclusion criteria (human interventions, control trials and articles published in English) resulting in 20 relevant articles. The included studies were characterized by such plant components as fruit (n = 4), cladode (n = 12), and other Opuntia spp. products (n = 4), further separated by clinical populations ('healthy', hyperlipidemic, hypercholesterolemic, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus). The findings of this review indicate variations in effects between cacti components and products. Cladode and select Opuntia spp. products predominately demonstrated significant reductions in serum glucose and insulin, indicating potential as a functional food candidate. Prickly Pear fruit was predominately reported to have no significant effects on glucose or insulin. The quality of evidence appeared to vary based on the type of Opuntia spp. product used. Studies that used specifically the fruit or cladode had high risk of bias, whereas studies which used combined Opuntia spp. products had a lower risk of bias. Numerous mechanisms of action were proposed where positive findings were reported, with emphasis on dualistic glucose-dependent and independent actions, however, mechanisms require further elucidation. Conclusion: Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support the recommendation of using Opuntia spp. fruit products as an alternative or complementary therapy in the reduction of risk or management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The Cladode does however show promise in potential glucose-lowering effects which warrant further investigation.",
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author = "Gouws, {Caroline A} and Georgousopoulou, {Ekavi N} and Mellor, {Duane D} and Andrew McKune and Nenad Naumovski",
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Effects of the Consumption of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia spp.) and its Products on Blood Glucose Levels and Insulin : A Systematic Review. / Gouws, Caroline A; Georgousopoulou, Ekavi N; Mellor, Duane D; McKune, Andrew; Naumovski, Nenad.

In: Medicina, Vol. 55, No. 5, 15.05.2019, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of the Consumption of Prickly Pear Cacti (Opuntia spp.) and its Products on Blood Glucose Levels and Insulin

T2 - A Systematic Review

AU - Gouws, Caroline A

AU - Georgousopoulou, Ekavi N

AU - Mellor, Duane D

AU - McKune, Andrew

AU - Naumovski, Nenad

PY - 2019/5/15

Y1 - 2019/5/15

N2 - Background and Objectives: There is confusion as to which component of the Opuntia spp. cacti has demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic effects or anti-diabetic properties. It is important to clarify these health benefits due to the increasing need for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The aim of this review is to identify the effects of Opuntia spp. cacti consumption on biomedical measures; glucose and insulin with consideration of its' components; fruit, leaf and combined or unidentified Opuntia spp. products. Materials and Methods: Prior to commencing the searches, this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018108765). Following the PRISMA 2009 guidelines, six electronic databases (Food Science and Technology Abstracts (EBSCO), Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cochrane) were searched for articles investigating the effect of Opuntia spp. consumption on glucose and insulin in humans. Results: Initially, 335 articles were sourced and filtered by exclusion criteria (human interventions, control trials and articles published in English) resulting in 20 relevant articles. The included studies were characterized by such plant components as fruit (n = 4), cladode (n = 12), and other Opuntia spp. products (n = 4), further separated by clinical populations ('healthy', hyperlipidemic, hypercholesterolemic, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus). The findings of this review indicate variations in effects between cacti components and products. Cladode and select Opuntia spp. products predominately demonstrated significant reductions in serum glucose and insulin, indicating potential as a functional food candidate. Prickly Pear fruit was predominately reported to have no significant effects on glucose or insulin. The quality of evidence appeared to vary based on the type of Opuntia spp. product used. Studies that used specifically the fruit or cladode had high risk of bias, whereas studies which used combined Opuntia spp. products had a lower risk of bias. Numerous mechanisms of action were proposed where positive findings were reported, with emphasis on dualistic glucose-dependent and independent actions, however, mechanisms require further elucidation. Conclusion: Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support the recommendation of using Opuntia spp. fruit products as an alternative or complementary therapy in the reduction of risk or management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The Cladode does however show promise in potential glucose-lowering effects which warrant further investigation.

AB - Background and Objectives: There is confusion as to which component of the Opuntia spp. cacti has demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic effects or anti-diabetic properties. It is important to clarify these health benefits due to the increasing need for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The aim of this review is to identify the effects of Opuntia spp. cacti consumption on biomedical measures; glucose and insulin with consideration of its' components; fruit, leaf and combined or unidentified Opuntia spp. products. Materials and Methods: Prior to commencing the searches, this systematic review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018108765). Following the PRISMA 2009 guidelines, six electronic databases (Food Science and Technology Abstracts (EBSCO), Medline, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and Cochrane) were searched for articles investigating the effect of Opuntia spp. consumption on glucose and insulin in humans. Results: Initially, 335 articles were sourced and filtered by exclusion criteria (human interventions, control trials and articles published in English) resulting in 20 relevant articles. The included studies were characterized by such plant components as fruit (n = 4), cladode (n = 12), and other Opuntia spp. products (n = 4), further separated by clinical populations ('healthy', hyperlipidemic, hypercholesterolemic, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus). The findings of this review indicate variations in effects between cacti components and products. Cladode and select Opuntia spp. products predominately demonstrated significant reductions in serum glucose and insulin, indicating potential as a functional food candidate. Prickly Pear fruit was predominately reported to have no significant effects on glucose or insulin. The quality of evidence appeared to vary based on the type of Opuntia spp. product used. Studies that used specifically the fruit or cladode had high risk of bias, whereas studies which used combined Opuntia spp. products had a lower risk of bias. Numerous mechanisms of action were proposed where positive findings were reported, with emphasis on dualistic glucose-dependent and independent actions, however, mechanisms require further elucidation. Conclusion: Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support the recommendation of using Opuntia spp. fruit products as an alternative or complementary therapy in the reduction of risk or management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The Cladode does however show promise in potential glucose-lowering effects which warrant further investigation.

KW - Cactus pear

KW - Cladode

KW - Glucose

KW - Human

KW - Insulin

KW - Opuntia

KW - Prickly pear

KW - Systematic review

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UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/effects-consumption-prickly-pear-cacti-opuntia-spp-products-blood-glucose-levels-insulin-systematic

U2 - 10.3390/medicina55050138

DO - 10.3390/medicina55050138

M3 - Review article

VL - 55

SP - 1

EP - 18

JO - Medicina

JF - Medicina

SN - 1010-660X

IS - 5

ER -