Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Alzheimer’s are diseases with increasing prevalence as age advances.
It is predicted that the number of Alzheimer’s patients in Indonesia will reach 3,999,285 people by 2050. For diabetes patients, current therapies often result in gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Students from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) have discovered the neuroprotective benefits of Javanese chili kombucha as a functional beverage for Diabetes Mellitus (DM) patients at risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) complications.
The research was led by Eri Dwi Suyanti, along with her colleagues Salma Mutiara Tsani, Fithratun Nastiti, Wafiq Hanifah, and Marcellino Maatita. These researchers come from various disciplines at UGM, including medicine, biology, and pharmacy. The research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Arta Farmawati, MD.
Eri Suyanti explained that Javanese chili contains the bioactive compound piperine, which has antidiabetic effects and can be developed into a functional kombucha beverage.
“We chose kombucha as a fermented beverage with anti-hyperglycemic effects,” said Suyanti in her statement to reporters on Thursday (November 23).
Results from their laboratory-scale research revealed that the bioactive compounds in Javanese chili kombucha demonstrate significant efficacy.
Javanese chili kombucha can provide neuroprotective benefits by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that causes Alzheimer’s in diabetic patients.
“Tests on experimental animals prove that Javanese chili kombucha can maintain spatial memory in experimental animal rats,” she said.
This research was submitted to the Student Creativity Program in the Exact Sciences Research field and has successfully obtained funding support for the entire process, from ethical clearance to experiment financing. Support was obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.
Although it is still in the early stages of research, Suyanti hopes that her study could potentially bring new hope to treating Alzheimer’s through the natural wealth of Indonesia.
“We hope that this knowledge can progress to clinical trial phases, and eventually, this research can actively provide protection for diabetes patients at risk of Alzheimer’s complications,” she concluded.
Author: Gusti Grehenson