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Allopathic drug in Jackfruit365 flour that ‘controls diabetes’? WhatsApp forward spurs fresh test

A lab report doing the rounds on doctor groups claims a brand of jackfruit flour sold by Kerala-based Jackfruit365 contains an allopathic drug. Allegation remains unverified.

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New Delhi: Does a popular nutraceutical that promises to control diabetes also contain an allopathic element and thus violate customers’ trust? Tests are under way to determine as much after an unnamed individual pointed a finger of blame towards a brand of jackfruit flour marketed by Kerala-based Jackfruit365.

A nutraceutical — food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits — should not contain any allopathic drug. The approval process for nutraceuticals is also less stringent than that for conventional drugs. 

The jackfruit flour is sold as a nutraceutical for controlling diabetes. However, a lab report doing the rounds of doctors’ groups on WhatsApp appears to suggest a sample of this flour came back positive for metformin, an allopathic drug used to lower blood sugar levels. 

The person who commissioned the test hasn’t been identified because his name has been blacked out on the report, which is dated 11 October. 

The report was signed by Krishna Kumar T.S., who works as an analyst at a government drug testing laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram. 

Kumar confirmed to ThePrint that the image of the report is not fake, and that the samples sent by the individual had indeed tested positive for metformin.

However, he said there was no way to ascertain how the sample was collected and whether it was adulterated before being sent to the lab, and thus the report itself does not have legal standing. 

“A local consumer forum also sent in a sample of Jackfruit365, which came negative for metformin,” he said, adding that the lab is now conducting a follow-up according to standard procedure. The results of this test are expected to come in the next few days, he added.

In a post on the social media portal LinkedIn last week, Jackfruit365 founder James Joseph defended the product, saying it only contains jackfruit flour. 

“Jackfruit365 green jackfruit flour is a single ingredient as declared in the pack, made from 100% mature unripe green jackfruit, with no additives or flavours. And it helps control blood sugar, due to relative reduction in carbs, calories & increase in fiber, vs rice or wheat,” he wrote in the post.

“We reconfirm that our jackfruit flour only has jackfruit. Any other suggestion is incorrect & unscientific,” he added, not making any mention of the lab report, or why he was posting this message on LinkedIn. 

Also Read: At 329.86 MT in 2020-21, India is set to witness highest ever horticulture crop production

‘A scientific advancement’

Jackfruit365 is an initiative promising year-long access to the jackfruit under God’s Own Food Solutions Pvt Ltd. Its flour has thousands of reviews on the e-commerce platform Amazon, suggesting a wide consumer base.

In June this year, a study reportedly found that the Jackfruit365 flour — which is primarily supposed to be jackfruit seed flour — can help control Type 2 diabetes.  

This was based on a trial involving 40 people, half of whom consumed 30 g of the powder for breakfast and dinner daily for 12 weeks, replacing a portion of their rice or wheat flour intake.

“This is a scientific advancement in diabetes from India for India and these results could inspire further research on traditional Indian diet. I hope that the findings of this research translate into better use of medical nutrition therapy in Type 2 diabetes care in India,” one of the researchers involved in the study had told ThePrint.

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: This one simple lifestyle change could help prevent diabetes and other diseases, study shows


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