Young Filipina Scientist Discovers “Aratiles” as Potential Cure for Diabetes

A 16-year-old student scientist from the city of Iloilo has discovered potential anti-diabetic components in the aratiles fruit. A discovery she recently presented in the International Science and Engineering Fair in the United States.


What is an Aratiles?

What is an Aratiles

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Aratiles is a fruit that grows naturally anywhere within the Philippines. In other countries, Aratiles is known as Jamaican cherry, Panama berry, Singapore cherry, and more.


Residents of Pampanga province in the Philippines call these little red fruits Manzanitas. Locals of Tarlac province and Nueva Ecija call them Saresa, while the Ilonggos of the Visayas region call them Sarisa.


Maria Isabel Layson

Maria Isabel Layson

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Layson is a student scientist from Iloilo National High School. In February 2019, she was declared as the winner for the Best Individual research in the Life Science category at the 2019 National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF), sponsored by the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF).


After that, she was chosen to be one of the 12 candidates to represent the Philippines at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She was then recognized for her study, “Bioactive Component, Antioxidant Activity, and Antidiabetic Properties of Muntingia calabura Linn. An In Vitro Study”.


It essentially determined the properties of the Aratiles fruit which could potentially cure diabetes. In an interview with RMN Iloilo, Layson revealed:


Maria Isabel Layson


Nagtuon ko sang aratiles or sarisa para ma – address ang diabetes… Ang conclusion sini is that, all of the plant parts sang sarisa nagacontain ni siya sang anti-oxidants nga makabulig ini siya sa iya nga anti-diabetic properties niya.


[I studied the Aratiles fruit or Sarisa to address diabetes. This study concludes that all of the plant parts of the Sarisa fruit contains anti-oxidants, which could help because of its anti-diabetic properties.]


This only means that the Aratiles fruit may be one of the cheapest remedies for diabetes available. Besides the fact that it abundantly grows in the Philippines, most of its components are also edible. From its branches and leaves to its flowers, all contain the necessary antioxidants to combat diabetes.


There are many brilliant minds in the Philippines, we all know that. They share their knowledge and ideas to help everyone to have a better life. All they need is support for their studies or inventions, and to be recognized for all the hard work that they have put in their studies.

Samantha Baluyot

Sam joined Remit this 2018. She is a Journalism graduate who loves to see the world in different point of views. Her goal in writing is to inspire her readers to have a better perspective and to live a meaningful life. She may look aloof but she’s a very friendly and a happy-go-lucky person.


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