News24

Dead Sea dipping helps diabetics

2011-08-30 22:46

Jerusalem - Floating in the Dead Sea for just 20 minutes may help diabetics lower blood sugar levels, according to a study by Israeli researchers highlighted in Haaretz on Tuesday.

The research was carried out by scientists from Ben Gurion University and Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheva, both in Israel's Negev desert, the paper said.

In the experiment, 14 people with Type 2 diabetes, aged 18 to 65, showed a significant drop in blood glucose levels after sitting for 20 minutes in a pool of Dead Sea water.

Glucose levels dropped on average from 163 to 151mg/dl - 13.5% - immediately afterwards, according to the report.

Blood sugar dropped even further to 141.3mg/dl after an hour's dip in the water.

The bathing experience did not appear to have any negative effect on other blood values such as levels of insulin, cortisone hormones or c-peptide, the researchers said.

A control group of six healthy individuals did not register any changes in blood sugar levels.

Professor Shaul Sukenik, who led the research at Ben Gurion, described the results as "promising".

"In the event that the findings are confirmed in further studies, a drop in blood glucose levels will allow diabetics who bathe in the Dead Sea to use less medication," he told the newspaper.

"We cannot determine this on the basis of the current study, but the findings do suggest this," he said.

The research team is now trying to raise funds to broaden the research to examine the effect of a daily dip in the Dead Sea across a three-week period, the paper said.

The findings will be published in this month's edition of the Israel Medical Association’s journal, HaRefua.

Comments
  • mecan - 2011-08-30 23:52

    dead sea helped me with my Asthma

  • PyroSA - 2011-08-31 00:07

    OK, how about a control group in 'normal' water?

  • frankm - 2011-08-31 00:19

    I wonder if my medical aid will cover the costs of me visiting the Dead Sea like every month for a 20 minute wade, which if it works will mean I dont need my chronic meds

      mmoorhouseza - 2011-08-31 07:44

      I'm sure they will help..They may give you a voucher for a few sacks of salt from Pick and Pay ;-)

  • Olga - 2011-09-03 12:03

    The Dead sea is known for the skin and lung diseases treatments, but it's a first time I hear about diabetes. It's great that this place is not only beautiful (it might become one of the new7wonders, check out here: http://www.facebook.com/VoteDeadSea ), but it also has a potential to help so many people around the world.

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