A study on the effect of habitual consumption of Madhuca longifolia drinks on the prevalence of diabetes and dyslipidemia among santhal tribals

Arunima Datta, Ayan Pal, Arup Bandyopadhyay


Background: Madhuca longifolia (mahua) is a tropically growing tree found in various parts of India mostly on plain lands. The tree is considered a boon by the tribals who are forest dwellers because of its manifold medicinal properties. Studies show that in animals, alcoholic extracts of this tree produce beneficial effects on diabetic and lipid profile. It is the purpose of this study to know whether these beneficial effects are observed in Santhals many of whom are regular consumers of Madhuca longifolia drinks.

Methods: Diabetic and lipid profile of blood along with standard anthropometric parameters were measured in a population of Santhal tribe (only males were chosen) many of whom, but not all, are regular consumers of mahua drinks. These findings were statistically analysed and compared using student’s t-test and inference drawn.

Results: Results show that anthropometric parameters do not differ much, but FBS. HbA1c, cholesterol and LDL these parameters are lower in mahua consumers compared to those in non-consumers. HDL is raised in mahua consumers compared to the other group. No significant effect was observed in case of VLDL and triglycerides.

Conclusions: Study shows that regular mahua drinks among Santhal tribe do improve diabetic and lipid profile, except triglycerides and VLDL. Further and more elaborate studies are needed to have proper insight and practical gains in this regard.


Madhuca longifolia, Mahua, Diabetes mellitus, Lipid profile, Santhal tribe

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