Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines and the number of Filipinos with diabetes is growing at an alarming rate. Many believe that diabetes is inherited. As a matter of fact, this disease can be inherited but there are also several factors that make people acquire this disease. Despite the advancements in medical treatment and technology, diabetes still remains as one of the prevalent diseases that afflict a huge number of Filipinos.
A 16-year old student from Iloilo has made a breakthrough just recently. Maria Isabel Layson, high school student discovered that the “aratiles” fruit have a potential to cure diabetes. She says that this fruit grows in abundance in their backyard. She draws inspiration from the bitter fact that many of her family members lost their lives to diabetes. Driven, she started to study the anti oxidant and anti diabetic properties of the fruit.
Maria Isabel was one of the 12 aspiring young scientists who represented the Philippines at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2019 that was held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA lat May 12 to 17. Her research study, “Bioactive Component, Antioxidant Activity, and Anti Diabetic Properties of Mutingia calabura Linn: An In vitro Study”, did not win the grand prize but she hopes that this will pave way in the development of a cure for diabetes in the Philippines.
She was the first on her batch to receive the Gokongwie Brothers Foundation Young Scientist Award. Her research has already won the Best Individual Research in Life Science during the Department of Education’s 2019 National Science and Technology. She joined the