Mulberries are dark skin colored delicious berries widely cultivated in regions like Southern Europe, Middle East, Northern Africa, And Indian Subcontinent. Mulberries are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers, flavonoids, phytonutrients, etc. and the presence of all these compounds make them very beneficial for our health. In addition to the health benefits, mulberries also provide a number of beauty benefits for our skin and hair. However, there are also some side effects of eating too many mulberries. In this article, we will know about these side effects in detail.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Mulberries
(1) Can Lower Blood Sugar Level To Dangerously Low Level
Eating mulberries on a regular and moderate basis is very beneficial for individuals suffering from diabetes. This is because the dietary fiber present in mulberries plays an important role in decreasing the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream.
Eating mulberries is beneficial for diabetic patients as the sugar present in mulberries doesn’t dissolve in the body rapidly and prevents our blood glucose level from going high suddenly. However, it has been found that consuming mulberries in excess can have an adverse effect on our blood sugar level.
As per a test conducted by the American Diabetes Association ( ADA), it was found that eating too many mulberries can drop our blood sugar to a dangerously low level and upset the blood sugar balance in our body.
In addition to this, if you are already on medication for controlling blood sugar level, then you should consume mulberries with caution and only after taking doctor’s advice on the same. This is because mulberries can interfere with the functioning of diabetic medication and even drop our blood sugar level to dangerously low level. The main culprit behind the drop in blood sugar level after eating mulberries is 1-deoxynojirimycin.
(2) Increased Risk of Skin Cancer
Mulberries are an excellent source of vitamin C which is an antioxidant that fights with the free radicals of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells.
By doing so, they not only help in keeping signs of premature aging like age spots, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, etc. at bay but also helps in reducing the risk of various types of skin cancer. This is an advantage of mulberries. Because of this benefit and other beauty benefits provided by mulberries, mulberries extract are being used in many skin care products.
However, there is also a risk of using mulberries extract on skin. Mulberries contain arbutin, which is a hydroquinone compound that lightens our skin and makes it fair by preventing melanin release. This hydroquinone compound “Arbutin” is believed to carry carcinogenic side effects with it and increases our risk of skin cancer.
As per a 2010 study conducted by the French researchers, it was found that hydroquinone compounds could be a direct cause of carcinoma cells. Although Arbutin is a very milder form of hydroquinone, still there is a risk. So, if you are using any skin lightening products with mulberry extract in it, you are basically putting yourself at risk of skin cancer.
(3) Interference With Chemotherapy
Although the antioxidants like vitamin C etc. present in mulberries helps in reducing the risk of various types of cancers ( as they fight with the free electrons of our body, stabilizes them and prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our body cells), but still it is important to consume mulberries in moderation as it was also found that mulberries could interfere with the chemotherapy used for treating cancer patients.
As per a research conducted by the researchers at Nihon University (Tokyo), it was found that mulberries extract contains a substance named “Albano A” which can trigger cell apoptosis in leukemia cells. Although this is an advantage this can turn into a disadvantage for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Such patients are advised not to ingest mulberry extract without consulting with your doctor.
(4) Hinders Absorption of Carbohydrates
Regular and moderate consumption of mulberries is very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. The dietary fibers present in mulberries helps in proper absorption of nutrients and also ease the elimination of stool, and thus reduces the risk of digestive problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, etc.
However, there is a disadvantage of eating too many mulberries when it comes to the absorption of nutrients.
Excessive consumption of mulberries can hinder the absorption of carbohydrates and triacylglycerol in our body because of their ability to prevent alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase, pancreatic lipase, and sodium-glucose transporters.
(5) Increased Risk of Hypoglycemia
Regular and moderate consumption of mulberries is very beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes as mulberries help in lowering our blood glucose level. In addition to this, eating mulberries don’t cause any sudden spike in our blood glucose level.
Although this is an advantage of mulberries it can turn into a disadvantage if you are consuming too many mulberries and/or if you are already taking medication for lowering our blood glucose level.
Eating mulberries ( too many) along with diabetics medication could decrease our blood glucose level to a dangerously low level and give rise to hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition triggered by the low level of blood glucose in our body and is characterized by symptoms like hunger, headache, blurred vision, excessive sweating, dizziness, confusion, and tremors.
So, if you are a diabetic patient ( and on medication). then you should include mulberries in your diet only as per the advice of your doctor. In general, too, we should consume mulberries in limited quantity.
(6) Not So Safe For Patients Suffering From Kidney Disorders
Another important reason to not to eat too many mulberries is the presence of potassium in them. Although potassium is an important mineral that provides a number of health benefits like provides relief from stroke, regulates blood pressure, enhances muscle strength, maintains water balance, etc (source), but at the same time, potassium can cause complications in people suffering from kidney disorders and gallbladder pains.
So, if you are suffering from any kidney disorder then it will be best for you to avoid mulberries altogether or eat it only after proper consultation with your doctor.
(7) Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Stage
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are crucial stages in the life of every woman, and everything she eats and drinks plays an important role in maintaining the health of the baby.
Although mulberries are a good source of many nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, phytonutrients, etc. and provides a number of health benefits, but given the side effects associated with mulberries, it is best advised to not to consume mulberries during pregnancy and breastfeeding stage.
Also, there is not much known about the safety and reliableness of consuming mulberries during pregnancy and nursing stage, so it is better to be safe and avoid consuming mulberries in any manner.
(8) Not Suitable For Individuals Who Are Allergic To Mulberries
Mulberries are not at all suitable for the individuals who are allergic to them. These people should avoid consuming mulberries in all form ( be it fruit, juice, extract or tea leaves). It has also been found that those are allergic to black mulberries are highly likely to be allergic to figs.
(9) Must Be Avoided By Individuals With Scheduled Surgery
Mulberries are not suitable and must be avoided by individuals with scheduled surgery. This is because eating mulberries could reduce our blood sugar levels and this could interfere with the control of blood sugar during and after surgery.
For this reason, people who are scheduled to go under the knife are advised to stop consuming mulberries ( be it in fruit, juice, extract or tea leaves) at least two weeks prior to surgery and at least two weeks post surgery.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.