Portulaca oleracea improves glucose uptake
A new study has confirmed the anti-diabetic properties of the purslane herb extract Portulaca oleracea L. The study examined the mode of action of selected substances with potential to mimic insulin activity.
Researchers at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Wels, led by Julian Weghuber, PhD, investigated extracts prepared from seven different plants reported to exhibit anti-diabetic effects via GLUT4 (glucose transporter protein type 4) translocation-inducing properties. Induction of GLUT4 translocation without insulin is considered a key aspect to decrease elevated blood glucose levels in persons with diabetes.
Combining established in vitro models with modern fluorescence microscopy and atomic force microscopy, the effect of purslane has been studied extensively. Researchers found that only two substances, among which one is purslane extract, led to enhanced GLUT4 translocation including plasma membrane insertion, and glucose uptake in established cell models. Both extracts resulted in a distribution and clustering of GLUT4 in the plasma membrane similar to that of insulin, and appeared to reduce blood glucose levels in a living organism.
 Citation: Stadlbauer V, Haselgr?bler R, Lanzerstorfer P, Plochberger B, Borgmann D, Jacak J, et al. (2016) Biomolecular Characterization of Putative Antidiabetic Herbal Extracts. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0148109. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148109
 Gong F et al. Hypoglycemic effects of crude polysaccharide from Purslane. Int J Mol Sci 2009;10:880–8886
 Lee AS et al. An aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea ameliorates diabetic nephropathy through suppression of renal fibrosis and inflammation in diabetic db/db mice. Am J Chin Med 2012;40:495–510.
 El-Sayed MI. Effects of Portulaca oleracea L. seeds in treatment of type-2 diabetes mellitus patients as adjunctive and alternative therapy. J Ethnopharmacol 2011;137:643–651.
 Wainstein, Julio, et al. Purslane Extract and Glucose Homeostasis in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of Efficacy and Safety. J Med Food 2016;19: 133-140.