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Diabetic Wound Healing with Spinach Extract: A Promising Discovery

Spinach Extract

Diabetic Wound Healing with Spinach Extract

Chronic diabetic ulcers (CDU) pose significant long-term health risks for individuals with diabetes. These slow-healing wounds can lead to severe complications, including the potential need for limb amputation. Researchers have identified various factors that contribute to impaired wound healing in diabetes, including neuropathy, skin damage, infections, ischemia, poor nutrition, and inadequate blood sugar control.

CDU is a global health concern, affecting both developed and developing countries, with an estimated prevalence of 6.3%. Successful wound healing occurs in four stages: coagulation, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling. However, due to damage to blood vessels, wounds in diabetic individuals often become hypoxic (lack oxygen) quickly.

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The Role of Spinach Extract

Spinach, a highly nutritious plant, offers a potential solution. Rich in water, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium), and vitamins (E, C, folate, A), spinach is a versatile addition to one’s diet. It’s also packed with antioxidants like phenols, flavonoids, lycopene, lutein, and linolenic acid. Spinach extracts contain essential components, including glutamine, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and potential wound-healing benefits.

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Glutamine plays a crucial role in reducing inflammation, insulin resistance, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Recent research suggests that glutamine can enhance collagen synthesis, a key element in wound healing. Previous studies have also highlighted spinach’s anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anti-proliferative, and anti-obesity properties.

The Study

To explore the potential of spinach extract in diabetic wound healing, researchers conducted a study using male Sprague–Dawley rats. These rats were divided into six groups, including both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Aqueous and alcoholic spinach extracts were administered to various groups.

The study measured ulcer regeneration, blood sugar levels, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels, and weight changes at multiple time points during the study.

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Study Findings

The results of the study were promising. Diabetic rats treated with spinach extract (both aqueous and alcoholic) experienced accelerated wound healing, with significant progress observed as early as the fourteenth day. In contrast, the diabetic control group required thirty days for wound healing, while the healthy control group healed in twenty-one days.

The improved wound healing in the groups receiving spinach extract was attributed to vitamins present in spinach, which aid in fibroblast collagen deposition and epithelialization. Vitamin C, for instance, enhances collagen production, fibroblast activity, and vascular density in wounds. Additionally, vitamins K and E play distinct roles in wound healing.

Various phytochemical compounds found in spinach extract also contribute synergistically to the wound-healing process.

Furthermore, the preventive groups (E and F) showed a substantial drop in blood glucose levels to the non-diabetic range, starting on the fourteenth day. Significant weight changes in diabetic rats were observed on the twenty-first day.


This study underscores the potential of spinach extracts, both aqueous and alcoholic, in expediting wound healing in diabetic rats. Additionally, these extracts helped lower blood glucose levels and mitigate weight loss associated with diabetes. The findings suggest that Spinacia oleracea could be a valuable treatment option for individuals dealing with chronic diabetic ulcers. Further research may shed more light on the application of spinach extract in diabetic wound care.