Antidiabetic potential of plant natural products: A review

Ravi Kant Upadhyay


The present review explains the use of natural plant products for therapeutics of diabetes. It is a serious metabolic disorder that imposes multiple effects on human health. Although diabetes is curable, an erratic lifestyle always make panic and causes disease severity if proper medication is not being made available. Several ethnomedicines have been used by local people in form of crude extracts prepared from flowers, fruits, and roots of endemic plant species for cure of diabetes. There is a common usage of herbal parts for preparation of concoctions, syrups, vegetables, juices, green tea, from leaves, and roots for therapeutic purposes. This article explains antidiabetic effects of various plant secondary metabolites such as anthraquinones, flavonoids, secoiridoids, iridoids, flavanones, biophenols, triterpenes, benzoic acid derivatives, isochromans, and phytosterols. Daily meals containing good nutraceuticals such as protein and fiber can replace carbohydrate food that is a main source of glucose. Mainly, herbal foods rich in flavanols and polyphenols show hypoglycemic effects and can be used in the prevention of diabetes-induced vascular dysfunctions. Antidiabetic plant natural products restore insulin level and increase utilization of external glucose. Herbal dietary supplementation having diverse antioxidants, fibers, minerals, and antiglycants show inhibitory activity against α-amylase and α-glycosidase can easily control carbohydrate metabolism in humans. No doubt plant origin natural products can be used as alternative medicine for treatment of diabetes, but they must need proper composition and formulation before being used.

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