Morus alba has many claimed benefits, including lowering blood sugar and fat levels, supporting brain function, and preventing bone loss. In addition, the herb has few reported side effects. Read this post to learn about all its potential health benefits and mechanisms. What Is White Mulberry ( Morus alba )?
White mulberry ( Morus alba ) is a small tree native to northern China. During ancient times its primary uses were to feed silkworms and treat various illnesses.
White mulberry contains many unique active compounds and flavonoids that confer a broad range of potential benefits.
Its leaves and roots can be prepared in a tea, while its berries can be eaten whole or made into wine. Constituents
White mulberry contains many natural polyphenols and flavonoids, which have potential antioxidant , anti-inflammatory , anticancer , and antibacterial properties [ 1 , 2 ].
Compared to the stems and fruits, the leaves contain more phenolic compounds and flavonoids [ 3 ]. Apigenin
Additionally, white mulberry contains many constituents that are unique to the plant: Moracin has potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties [ 2 ]
May lower blood sugar
May reduce the risk of heart disease
May support brain function
Few mild adverse effects reported
Insufficient evidence for most benefits
May interact with antidiabetic and immunosuppressant medication
Possibly Effective for:
In 4 clinical trials on 101 healthy people, white mulberry leaf extract reduced carbohydrate digestion and absorption, resulting in decreased blood sugar and insulin spikes after meals [ 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 ].Similarly, the extract reduced fasting sugar levels and sugar and insulin spikes after meals in 3 clinical trials on 84 people with type 2 diabetes or at risk of developing this condition [ 15 , 16 , 17 ].A nutraceutical complex with white mulberry extract, red yeast rice , and berberine l owered fasting glucose , blood insulin, and hemoglobin bound to sugar (glycated hemoglobin) in 2 trials on almost 400 people with high blood fat levels, possibly reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes [ 18 , 19 ].White mulberry leaf extract also improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in obese mice. In cels, it decreased glucose levels by increasing the production of its transporter GLUT4 [ 20 , 21 ].White mulberry extract may also help with diabetic complications. It improved the antioxidant status and blood fat profile in a clinical trial on 60 diabetic people with kidney damage, possibly slowing the progression of the disease. In diabetic mice, its antioxidant and sugar-lowering activity protected the eyes against cell death [ 22 , 23 ].All in all, the evidence suggests that white mulberry may help lower blood sugar levels. You may discuss with your doctor if it may be helpful in your case. Importantly, never take white mulberry supplements in place of the antidiabetic medication prescribed by your doctor . Insufficient Evidence for: 1) Preventing Heart Disease In 2 clinical trials on 48 people with high blood fat levels, white mulberry extract lowered triglycerides , total cholesterol , “bad” ( LDL ) cholesterol, and markers of inflammation ( CRP ) and oxidative damage (8-isoprostane), while increasing “good” ( HDL ) cholesterol [ 24 , 25 ].Similarly, a nutraceutical complex with white mulberry, red yeast rice, and berberine lowered total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure in 2 trials on almost 400 people with this condition [ 19 , 18 ]White mulberry extract also decreased fat buildup in the blood vessels and lowered blood pressure in animal studies [ 26 , 27 , 28 ].Although the results are promising, only 4 clinical trials have been carried out (two of which combined white mulberry extract with other compounds that may lower cholesterol and blood pressure). Larger, more robust clinical trials are needed to confirm these preliminary results. 2) Improving Memory and Learning In a study of 60 adults, 1-2.1 grams per day of white mulberry leaf extract enhanced brain function and memory [ 29 ].In mice, white mulberry extract increased NGF levels, leading to increased brain cell growth . The mice then had enhanced learning and memory (as seen by their improved retention and object recognition time) [ 30 ].In another study, rats treated with white mulberry extract showed improved memory , as well as increased brain cell density and reduced oxidative stress in the brain [ 31 ].A single clinical trial and some animal research cannot be considered sufficient evidence to claim that white mulberry improves memory and learning. Further clinical research is required. 3) Whitening the Skin Both white mulberry root bark and leaves can whiten the skin, suggesting their potential application in skin-lightening cosmetics [ 29 +].A 75% white mulberry oil reduced skin pigmentation in a clinical trial on 50 people with a condition that causes dark patches on the skin (melasma) [ 32 ].Mulberroside F is likely responsible for this effect. In mouse cells, it inhibited melanin formation and tyrosinase activity [ 33 ].Again, only one clinical trial is insufficient to support this potential use of white mulberry. More clinical trials on larger populations are needed. 4) Obesity In a clinical trial on 46 overweight people eating a low-calorie, balanced diet, supplementation with white mulberry extract enhanced weight loss by approximately 3x (10 kg versus 3.2 kg in the placebo group) [ 34 ].The combination of white mulberry with other plant extracts suppressed appetite and lowered fat levels in mice [ 35 , 36 ].White mulberry may also protect against obesity-related diseases . In mice, its leaf extract kept Nrf2 levels at a balance. This may balance fat production, produce antioxidant enzymes, and prevent obesity -related fatty liver diseases [ 37 ].Once again, only a small clinical trial and some animal research support the use of white mulberry to reduce obesity and its complications. More clinical research is needed. 5) Bone Loss A combination o white […]