Sweet White Potato Extract in Type 2 Diabetes.




Diabetes Care

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Professional Data: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2


Diabetes can affect people of any age. It increases the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, retinopathy (a disease of the retina) and blindness, peripheral neuropathies (a disease of the nervous system), circulation problems that can lead to amputation, problems with the immune system, and skin ulcers and poor wound healing.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by the beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans. The release of insulin by these special cells is regulated by the amount of glucose in the blood. It is responsible for transporting glucose (from carbohydrates) into the cells for energy production. After a meal, when blood sugar increases, insulin release increases. Between meals, when blood sugar is low, insulin release is low. Insulin is released from the pancreas directly into the liver where some is used and some is broken down and eliminated from the body. The rest is released into the general blood circulation. By helping to move glucose into the cells, insulin decreases blood sugar. Insulin also decreases the breakdown of stored fat and builds triglycerides. Insulin is involved in the production of protein. The proper growth and development of children is dependent on insulin.

A small study administered 4 grams of Caiapo to type 2 diabetics. Caiapo is an extract of sweet white potatoes and was studied for it potential metabolic control. The 61 participants in this study were given either the Caiapo or placebo for 12 weeks. They were given glucose tests at the beginning of this study and then again at 1, 2, and 3 months. Total cholesterol, trigyceride, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels were measured. HbA1c tests measure the amount of glucose bound to hemoglobin and can help assess blood sugar control. The results of this study found that after 12 weeks, those treated with Caiapo had lower levels of HbA1c and the placebo group remained unchanged. Cholesterol was also lowered in the Caiapo group. The authors concluded that, “This study confirms the beneficial effects of Caiapo on plasma glucose as well as cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.”1


1. Ludvik B, et al. Efficacy of Ipomoea batatas (Caiapo) on Diabetes Control in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects Treated With Diet.” Diabetes Care 27:436-440, 2004.