Diabetes mellitus (DM) comprises a range of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by defects in insulin release, insulin action, or both. DM is a widespread condition that affects a substantial portion of the global population, causing high morbidity and mortality rates. The prevalence of this major public health crisis is predicted to increase in the forthcoming years. Although several drugs are available to manage DM, these are associated with adverse side effects, which limits their use. In underdeveloped countries, where such drugs are often costly and not widely available, many people continue to rely on alternative traditional medicine, including medicinal plants. The latter serves as a source of primary healthcare and plant-based foods in many low- and middle-income countries. Interestingly, many of the phytochemicals they contain have been demonstrated to possess antidiabetic activity such as lowering blood glucose levels, stimulating insulin secretion, and alleviating diabetic complications. Therefore, such plants may provide protective effects that could be used in the management of DM. The purpose of this article was to review the medicinal plant-based foods traditionally used for the management of DM, including their therapeutic effects, pharmacologically active phytoconstituents, and antidiabetic mode of action at the molecular level. It also presents future avenues for research in this field.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.
- Plants, Medicinal/chemistry
- Blood Glucose/metabolism
- Diabetes Mellitus/drug therapy
- Hypoglycemic Agents/pharmacology
- Plant Extracts/pharmacology
- Insulin/therapeutic use
- medicinal plant-based foods