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Aratiles Fruit Medicinal Uses: Can It Improve Diabetes?

Aratiles Fruit Medicinal Uses: Can It Improve Diabetes?

In 2019, a student scientist, Maria Isabel Layson, discovered that aratiles (kerson fruit) contain bioactive compounds that may help cure diabetes. Layson even won the National Science and Technology Fair and competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in the United States. In another study, aratiles was found to be rich in phytochemicals with great anti-oxidant capabilities. How can this fruit help manage diabetes? What are the other aratiles fruit medicinal uses? Find out here.

Aratiles Fruit: Can It Cure Diabetes?

The bioactive compounds Layson enumerated in her study include anthocyanin, flavonoids, and polyphenol.


According to research, anthocyanins can lower blood sugar by protecting the beta cells of the pancreas, increasing insulin secretion, improving insulin resistance, boosting liver function, and inhibiting carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes [2], which are keys for digestion and carbohydrate absorption3.

Besides aratiles, you can also get anthocyanins from blackberries, blueberries, cranberry, and cherries.


As for flavonoids, a report mentioned that naturally occurring flavonoids possess anti-diabetic effects. Moreover, flavonoids demonstrate the ability to prevent diabetes and its complications. They support the regulation of carbohydrate digestion, insulin signaling, insulin secretion, glucose uptake, and fat deposition. [3].

Many fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids. Other sources include tea and red wine.


Finally, experts say polyphenols are beneficial for type 2 diabetes because they slow down carbohydrate digestion and glucose absorption, stimulate insulin secretion and modulate liver glucose release [4].

Various fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as coffee and tea also contain polyphenols.


While aratiles shows excellent potential in helping manage diabetes, we still need further studies about it. Eating aratiles in small amounts might be generally safe. However, refrain from using them to treat your diabetes mellitus without your doctor’s approval.

Other Aratiles Fruit Medicinal Uses

Besides its potential to help cure diabetes, the other aratiles medicinal uses include:

Protecting us from diseases

This fruit is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect our bodies by removing free radicals, which damage our cells. Free radicals also contribute to aging and other diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

It helps with inflammation

Another report noted that aratiles fruit extracts possess potent anti-inflammatory activity. This supports the fruit’s folkloric use in pain and inflammation control.

In an animal study, too, the fruit extracts reduced the edema of a rat subject within just three hours. Researchers said the effect was comparable to that produced by indomethacin, a standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine [5].

It has antibacterial properties

Did you know that aratiles fruit has antibacterial properties? In one report, the researchers discovered that the methanol extracts from leaves and fruit showed antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus [6].

To give context, E. coli is the most common cause of urinary tract infections, while S. aureus typically causes pneumonia and skin infections.

It may help relieve ulcers

Research found that the ethanolic extract from the aratiles fruit leaves reduced the acidity of gastric content in the ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model. Investigators noted that it was also beneficial for indomethacin-induced gastric ulcers and that its effects were comparable to that of ranitidine, a medication used to reduce stomach acid [7].

Key Takeaways

Aratiles or kerson fruit is common in the Philippines. Back in 2019, a student scientist discovered that it might potentially cure diabetes. This is mainly due to its bioactive components, namely anthocyanin, flavonoids, and polyphenols.

Besides being a potential diabetes cure, the aratiles fruit also exhibited high antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory activity, antibacterial properties, and might even help with ulcers.

While this fruit is generally safe to eat in food amounts, please refrain from using it to treat any health condition you might have unless you have your doctor’s approval. This is particularly true if you’re already taking some medicines for your health concern.

Learn more about Diabetes here.

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1) Young scientist finds potential diabetes cure in aratiles, https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/06/01/19/young-scientist-finds-potential-diabetes-cure-in-aratiles, Accessed September 20, 2021

2) Anthocyanins as promising molecules and dietary bioactive components against diabetes – A review of recent advances, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/., Accessed September 20, 2021

3) Evaluation of the Inhibition of Carbohydrate Hydrolyzing Enzymes, the Antioxidant Activity, and the Polyphenolic Content of Citrus limetta Peel Extract, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/121760/, Accessed September 20, 2021

4) Flavonoids and Their Anti-Diabetic Effects: Cellular Mechanisms and Effects to Improve Blood Sugar Levels, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31480505/, Accessed September 20, 2021

5) New Insights into the Benefits of Polyphenols in Chronic Diseases, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/6723931/, Accessed September 20, 2021

6) Anti-inflammatory Activity of Muntingia calabura Fruits, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/, Accessed September 20, 2021

7) MEDICINAL VALUES OF Muntingia calabura LEAVES, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342215051_MEDICINAL_VALUES_OF_Muntingia_calabura_LEAVES, Accessed September 20, 2021

8) Muntingia calabura fruits – antioxidant and health benefits, https://www.longdom.org/proceedings/muntingia-calabura-fruits–antioxidant-and-health-benefits-38878.html, Accessed September 20, 2021

9) How do free radicals affect the body, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652, Accessed March 15, 2022

10) Flavonoids and Their Anti-Diabetic Effects: Cellular Mechanisms and Effects to Improve Blood Sugar Levels, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769509/, Accessed March 15, 2022

11) Evaluation of Muntingia calabura Linn. as a Natural Antidiabetic and Antioxidant, https://abstracts.societyforscience.org/Home/PrintPdf/18667, Accessed March 15, 2022

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Mar 14
Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD