Phytochemicals for treatment of diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders characterized by increased blood glucose levels and improper primary metabolism resulting from the defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. It is one of the most common health problems worldwide, and the prevalence of this disease is rapidly increasing, leading to microvascular (retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy) and macrovascular (heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease) complications (Umar et al., 2010). The number of individuals with diabetes is increasing due to population growth, aging, urbanization and increasing prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity. According to recent estimates, the greatest absolute increase in the number of patients with diabetes will be in India and the total number is projected to 79.4 million in 2030. It is expected that about 366 million are likely to be diabetic by the year 2030 (Rahman and Zaman, 1989). Medicinal plants are the main source of organic compounds such as polyphenols, tannins, alkaloids, carbohydrates, terpenoids, steroids and flavonoids. These organic compounds represent a source for the discovery and development of new types of antidiabetic molecules. Many compounds isolated from plant sources have been reported to show antidiabetic activity. The key messages summarize some recent information in the field of antidiabetic phytochemicals.
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