Mulberry Leaf Helps Weight Loss and Reduces Blood Sugar Problems

mulberry leaf reduces weight and blood sugar

Photo by Alexx Malev

By Case Adams, Naturopath

Research from Italy’s F. De Ritis Institute and the Catholic University of Sacred Heart has determined that a traditional herb used for thousands of years can significantly help stimulate weight loss among obese or overweight people.

The researchers tested 46 overweight people for 90 days. They divided the subjects into two groups. Both groups were given an identical “balanced” diet plan that consisted of 1300 calories per day.

In addition to the diet, one group was given 2.4 grams of white Japanese mulberry extract per day, while the other group was given a placebo. Both groups were followed and tested every 30 days for weight, along with waist and thigh circumference measurements.

The researchers found that the group given the mulberry extract lost an average of nine kilograms (almost 20 pounds) in the three month period. Meanwhile, the placebo group lost about a third of that weight – about 3.2 kilograms – during the period.

The average weight loss among the mulberry group equated to about 10% of their total body weight over the three months.

The researchers also found the mulberry group had significantly reduced waist and thigh circumference among the mulberry group.

The extract was a meristematic extract. This means that the apical meristem was used – which is located in the buds, shoots and young leaves of the plant.

How does Mulberry Leaf Work?

Other research has found that mulberry leaf inhibits amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes, which break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. Thus it basically reduces the assimilation of glucose sugars by preventing the break down of polysaccharides into simple sugars. This in turn reduces blood glucose levels.

This effect was confirmed by the researchers, as they found the mulberry group’s blood glucose and insulin consumption curves were significantly lower at the end of the study compared to the beginning of the study. The researchers stated:

“Long‐term ingestion of mulberry leaf extract with enriched DNJ content could result in improved postprandial glycemic control in individuals with impaired glucose metabolism.”

Mulberry Reduces Blood Sugar Problems

This ability of mulberry to reduce carbohydrate breakdown was determined in a 2011 double-blind placebo-controlled study from Japan’s Nippon Medical School. The researchers tested mulberry leaf extract with 76 pre-diabetes patients with blood sugar control problems.

The researchers tested adult volunteers by giving them either a placebo or mulberry leaf extract for 12 weeks. The research found the mulberry leaf extract significantly improved postprandial (post-meal) glycemic control among the patients.

Mulberry Leaf Reduces Triglycerides and LDL-c

As a result of these mechanisms, mulberry leaf has also been found to restore healthy cholesterol levels. In a study from Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University, 23 patients with high triglyceride and LDL-c levels were given 280 milligrams of mulberry leaf tablets three times a day for three months. The researchers found that triglycerides were reduced by 14% and LDL-cholesterol levels were reduced by 5.6% among the patients. In addition, HDL-c (“good cholesterol”) levels went up by nearly 20% following the mulberry supplementation.

Another study found that three months of 280 milligrams per day of mulberry leaf supplementation significantly reduced triglycerides and LDL-c levels. C-reactive protein levels were also reduced in more than half the patients.

We reported on this effect with mulberry here.

A Silky Tradition

Asian silkworm producers have fed their silkworms with mulberry leaf for thousands of years. But this hasn’t been the only use for the mulberry tree (Morus alba). Traditional Chinese medicine has utilized mulberry leaf to reduce respiratory issues, inflammation, blood sugar issues, and constipation for centuries.


Mulberry leaf extract comes with a long history of success in traditional medicines. However, it should be used with the supervision of a health professional for those with existing medical conditions or those on other medications.

While all of the studies noted above noted the safety of the mulberry supplementation, one of the studies documented noted some “mild” effects including slight diarrhea, dizziness, or constipation and bloating in some of the volunteers.

Mulberry leaf extract

Learn about the Ancestor’s Diet


Da Villa G, Ianiro G, Mangiola F, Del Toma E, Vitale A, Gasbarrini A, Gasbarrini G. White mulberry supplementation as adjuvant treatment of obesity. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2014 Jan-Mar;28(1):141-5.

Aramwit P, Petcharat K, Supasyndh O. Efficacy of mulberry leaf tablets in patients with mild dyslipidemia. Phytother Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):365-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3270.

Andallu B, Suryakantham V, Lakshmi Srikanthi B, Reddy GK. Effect of mulberry (Morus indica L.) therapy on plasma and erythrocyte membrane lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin Chim Acta. 2001 Dec;314(1-2):47-53.

Asai A, Nakagawa K, Higuchi O, Kimura T, Kojima Y, Kariya J, Miyazawa T, Oikawa S. Effect of mulberry leaf extract with enriched 1-deoxynojirimycin content on postprandial glycemic control in subjects with impaired glucose metabolism. J Diabetes Investig. 2011 Aug 2;2(4):318-23. doi: 10.1111/j.2040-1124.2011.00101.x.

Aramwit P, Supasyndh O, Siritienthong T, Bang N. Mulberry leaf reduces oxidation and C-reactive protein level in patients with mild dyslipidemia. Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:787981. doi: 10.1155/2013/787981.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”

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