Here are some interesting facts about Buckwheat.
- Buckwheat is a pseudocereal. Meaning, you can consume it like a cereal but it is not a grass.
- It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Most notably, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper and B-vitamins.
- High fiber content makes it an ideal “superfood” for constipation, maintenance of digestive health and diabetes improvement. As a matter of fact, Buckwheat has a low glycemic index. That said, the blood sugar level does not spike after you take it. This helps to maintain the sugar level at a steady state which is essential if you have diabetes.
- It contains quercetin, a flavonol, and rutinose which is a sugar. In fact, it is a stronger antioxidant than quercetin. A wealth of animal studies suggests that it may be useful to protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Thus, making it a potential remedy for hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Moreover, it may improve circulation, prevent blood clots inside the blood vessels and control the spread of certain cancers. Another amazing health benefit of rutin as observed in the mice study is its ability to treat depression. By interacting with the body’s own cannabinoid receptors, it may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
- It is a flavonol that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There is no doubt that many diseases occur due to the damages caused by free radicals. Quercetin fights against these free radicals and thus helps in health promotion or even disease prevention. That way, it may also delay some symptoms of aging. In a similar manner, studies show that Quercetin inhibits various inflammatory processes inside the body. Like the free radical damage, internal inflammations are another major cause of diseases like gout, ulcers, eye disorders, diabetes and many others.
- Though a common chemical constituent in tea, tannins are also found in Buckwheat in significant amounts. These phenolic compounds are believed to have antimicrobial properties. In addition, they may also help to stabilize the blood glucose levels and thus are a potential dietary supplement for the diabetes patients.
- D-chiro inositol. There is an encouraging scientific evidence that D-chiro inositol may be an effective alternative for the treatment of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Currently, metformin and oral contraceptives are used to treat PCOS. But you cannot use any of these drugs for a long duration because of their side effects. Thus, the researchers believe treatments containing D-chiro inositol should be considered a first-line PCOS treatment.
- Antioxidants like glutathione and superoxide dismutase. These natural antioxidants are already present inside our body. Their main role is to protect the cells from the damages caused by several free radicals. As a matter of fact, free radicals, the highly reactive chemicals entities, result as a part of normal metabolism. But when genetic and environmental factors affect the functions of the antioxidants, the free radicals collect inside the body and may lead to a host of diseases. The worst of them is cancer. Other diseases may include high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and ALS.
How Buckwheat Can Help With Endocrine Regulation?Endocrine system comprises of various glands that secrete powerful chemicals directly into the bloodstream. Some examples of endocrine glands include:
- The cells in the pancreas secrete insulin and glucagon. Both these hormones facilitate transport of glucose inside the body.
- Adrenal glands which produce adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone.
- Pineal gland. Melatonin secreted by the pineal gland regulates sleep patterns.
- Thyroid gland. The thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 influence metabolism, appetite and movement of the intestines. Also, they play a key role in maintaining the heart rate and regulating body temperature.
- Parathyroid glands. These glands secrete parathyroid hormone, also called parathormone or parathyrin. It regulates the bone formation process in response to the level of calcium in the serum.
- Rutin provides relief from the signs and symptoms of PCOS. Like D-chiro inositol, Rutin is shown to alleviate the symptoms by decreasing the number of cystic follicles. PCOS occurs when the endocrine regulation gets out of track. Meaning, the ovaries produce excess male It might also affect insulin sensitivity. Common symptoms include acne, body hair, weight gain, irregular periods, elevated blood sugar and problems getting pregnant. In fact, the effect of Rutin is comparable to that of metformin, a commonly prescribed drug in PCOS.
- Quercetin increases insulin sensitivity in PCOS. Women with PCOS may have problems with utilizing the available insulin. In essence, the insulin fails to transport the glucose molecules from the blood to the cells. As a result, the blood glucose level rises. According to a study, Quercetin improves insulin sensitivity and thus brings down the blood glucose level. It does so by reducing inflammation in the ovarian tissues.
- Quercetin may prevent complications in hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too little hormone. Thus, it affects the overall balance of various physiological systems (Homeostasis). Quercetin, by its effects on the oxidative stress and platelet aggregation, may help to prevent complications that arise due to an impaired blood clotting.
Is Buckwheat Safe?Of course, it is safe whether you love its role in endocrine regulation or simply want to try a new superfood. There is no report of serious side effects that may occur when you take it by mouth and follow the instructions. Thus, it is considered “generally safe”. DO NOT take it if you are allergic to any of the contents of the product. Also, some products may contain gluten (remember Buckwheat is gluten-free) during the manufacturing process.
Things To Know Before Using Buckwheat For Endocrine Regulation
- Buckwheat is a superfood that is rich in the goodness of many powerful chemicals. The actions of many such chemicals have been proven in the scientific studies.
- No doubt, food is a medicine. But you should know that the fundamental difference between a food and medicine is that the latter is in concentrated form. Thus, you may not be able to get an immediate effect with a single intake of a supplement. In order to get noticeable health benefits, you should take it regularly and be patient.
- The interest of the scientific community in foods is increasing and we can expect more positive results to roll out in the future. As of now, most studies are limited to animal models. Thus, the same effects may not replicate in humans. But, it does not mean Buckwheat or any other food supplement is ineffective.
- Buckwheat is a healthy food and there is enough evidence that supports its safety among the consumers. Nonetheless, do not take it if you have any medical condition, are pregnant or breastfeeding. In these cases, you may want to consult your doctor before taking a supplement.
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- Kreft, Marko. “Buckwheat phenolic metabolites in health and disease.” Nutrition Research Reviews 2016 Jun;29(1):30-9.
- Giménez-Bastida, JA., et al “Buckwheat as a Functional Food and Its Effects on Health.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2015 Sep 16;63(36):7896-913.
- Giménez-Bastida, JA., et al “Buckwheat bioactive compounds, their derived phenolic metabolites and their health benefits.” Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 2017 Jul;61(7).
- Benelli, Elena., et al “A Combined Therapy with Myo-Inositol and D-Chiro-Inositol Improves Endocrine Parameters and Insulin Resistance in PCOS Young Overweight Women” International Journal of Endocrinology Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3204083, 5 pages.
- Nordio, Maurizio., et al “The combined therapy with myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol reduces the risk of metabolic disease in PCOS overweight patients compared to myo-inositol supplementation alone.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 2012 May;16(5):575-81.
- Singh, Simendra., et al “Role of glutathione in cancer pathophysiology and therapeutic interventions.” Journal of Experimental Therapeutics & Oncology 2012;9(4):303-16.
- Jahan, Sarwat., et al “Ameliorative effects of rutin against metabolic, biochemical and hormonal disturbances in polycystic ovary syndrome in rats” Journal of Ovarian Research 2016; 9: 86.