Cashew seed extracts improved cell responds to insulin in a new study, showing potential benefits of cashew tree products on diabetes. Cashew seed extract is likely to contain active compounds that have anti-diabetic properties, said Pierre S. Haddad, a pharmacology professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine, who led the study published the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Search.

Extracts of leaves, bark, seeds and apples from cashew trees were tested to examine their impact on the body’s response to its own insulin. Dr. Haddad commented that of out of all the extracts, only cashew seed extract was effective at stimulating blood sugar absorption by muscle cells.

Most of the people with type 2 diabetes produce enough insulin but the body cannot use the insulin effectively, a condition called insulin resistance. When the body has problem responding to insulin, sugar (glucose) cannot be moved from blood into the cells, and the high blood sugar can provoke heart or kidney disease in people with diabetes.

As traditionally believed, the cashew tree products may counter high blood sugar by improving the cell’s responds to insulin. Dr. Haddad thinks that the study validates the traditional use of cashew tree products in diabetes. The results of the study “points to some of its natural components that can serve to create new oral therapies,” he added.