Fact-check: No, local chestnuts are not a substitute for insulin injections

Several diabetologists told Geo Fact Check that the claim is unfounded and untrue

Geo Fact-Check

Eating shah baloot, a local chestnut, is beneficial for diabetic patients and has a similar effect as taking an insulin shot, purports a widely-shared online post.

The claim is false.


On January 11, a Twitter account titled, Kissan Pakistan, shared the alleged advantages of chestnuts for diabetic patients.

“Shah baloot (a local chestnut) is as expensive as pine nuts,” wrote the Twitter user, “But it increases immunity, and even if one grain is eaten by diabetic patients its benefits are the same as one shot of insulin.”

To date, the tweet has been viewed over 92,000 times and liked 1,567.


Diabetologists told Geo Fact Check that the claim that shah baloot is beneficial for diabetic patients is unfounded.

Dr. Asjad Hameed, the chairman of The Diabetes Center in Islamabad, called it “complete nonsense”.

“There's no such thing as eating a grain [of the chestnut] being equal to an insulin injection,” he told Geo Fact Check.

Dr Zakir Alavi, an endocrinologist and the former head of the department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Karachi’s Liaquat National Hospital, said that the claim was “fake and untrue”.

“The American Diabetes Association issues guidelines every year and there is no such claim in them or in any research [paper],” he said. “There is no data till now or authentic research about this.”

Dr Mohammad Imtiaz Hasan, the consultant diabetologist at the Diabetic’s Institute of Pakistan in Lahore, also agreed with the other doctors.

“This is only a claim. It has not been studied from a scientific point of view,” he said over the phone, “Thus it should not be recommended [to diabetic patients].”

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