Can the humble cactus really lower your blood sugar level? The short answer is yes. Soluble fibres such as mucilages, gums and pectin which are present in Nopal are highly effective in stablising blood sugar levels.
The mechanism of how this work is believed to depend on the gelling properties of the fibres when mixed with water. There is an increase in the amount of time it takes to absorb sugar from the stomach which prevents sudden spikes of blood sugar levels.
These same soluble fibres can lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In fact research has shown that insulin levels decrease where dietary fibre has been increased in a person's diet.
Using purfied extract of the Nopal cactus researchers have also demonstrated inanimal studies that diabetes can be successfully controlled.