Young Philippine scientist claims diabetes cure could be found in aratiles

A student scientist from Iloilo City has discovered potentially anti-diabetic components in the aratiles fruit - a discovery she recently presented in an international science fair in the United States.  

Maria Isabel Layson won the National Science and Technology Fair in February and competed as part of the Philippine delegation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona last month.

Layson’s research looked into the anti-diabetic component of the fruit locally known as sarisa.  While she did not win in the US competition, Layson said representing the country was a blessing and an honor: “I didn’t join the competition for fame. I joined this research competition because I wanted to address the problem of diabetes and how my research of aratiles could help solve that.”

Layson said her research found bioactive compounds like anthocyanin, flavonoid and polyphenol in the oft ignored fruit. These components may be useful as a cure for diabetes. The incoming Grade 11 student dreams of finding a cure for the disease that affects many Filipinos.

The Philippines has seen an increase in diabetes affliction, with the forecast placing the estimate at 7.8 million diabetic Filipinos by 2030.


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