Nutraceuticals In Diabetes Control

Nutraceuticals In Diabetes Control: Nutraceutical is a term used to describe products obtained from food sources that provide extra health benefits as well as basic nutritional value present in food. These are different type of products that comes under the class of nutraceuticals. Potential Nutraceuticals hold a promise of particular health or medical benefits. Established Nutraceuticals are potential nutraceuticals that become established after there is sufficient clinical data to demonstrate such a benefit. Food products are used as Nutraceuticals for diabetes control such as prebiotics, Dietary fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Antioxidants.


Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder, where the body is unable to utilize carbohydrates due to absolute or relative lack of insulin (hormone). It is naturally produced by the ß cell of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Soy and Omega-3 fatty acids can promote Insulin sensitivity and bring the blood sugar normal. E.g. Cinnamon tea and green tea can help people suffering from diabetes. Usually, Diabetes and Obesity are linked with each other and (if they are not treated) they may cause cardiovascular problems.

Nutraceuticals And Natural Supplements For Treating Type 2 Diabetes

The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes with 95% prevalence and is associated with obesity. Although various drugs for the prevention and treatment of diabetes have been introduced, however, globally the total number of people with diabetes with various causes is increasing Diabetes, not only imposes considerable economic burdens on individual patients and their families but also places substantial economic burdens on society.

In recent years a wide range of herbal dietary supplements and herbal medicines have scientifically proven to benefit type 2 diabetes mellitus in preclinical studies, however, few have been proven to do so in properly designed randomized clinical trials.

Isoflavones are phytoestrogens that have structural/functional similarities to human estrogen. Soy isoflavones consumption has been associated with lower incidence and mortality rate of type Il diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. High isoflavone intake (20-100 mg/day) is associated with a lower incidence and mortality rate of type Il diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been suggested to reduce glucose tolerance in patients predisposed to diabetes. For the synthesis of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, insulin is required; the heart may thus be particularly susceptible to their depletion in diabetes. Ethyl esters of n-3 fatty acids may be potentially beneficial in diabetic patients.

Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is used for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy and seems to be effective as a long-term dietary supplement for the protection of diabetics from complications. Dietary fibers from psyllium have been used extensively both as pharmacological supplements, food ingredients, in processed food to aid weight reduction, glucose control in diabetic patients, and to reduce lipid levels in hyperlipidemia. A lot of plant extracts such as Toucriumpolium, cinnamon, and bitter melon have been shown to prevent or treat diabetes: Numerous nutraceuticals had also shown promise in diabetes management.

Herbal Nutraceuticals In Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a worldwide menace and exponentially growing metabolic disease in India, affecting the lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and affecting the person physically as well as mentally. The knowledge on the heterogeneity of this order is advanced, the need for more appropriate therapy increases Traditional herbal medicines are used as a safe alternative for conventional hypoglycaemic agents, because synthetic drugs in NIDDM or insulin in IDDM have a limited role to play, and have a high risk of side effects and drug tolerance, thereby causing a rise in dosage or a change of drug. By richness in essential phytonutrients, Ayurvedic herbs may help as “potentiators” for these drugs and play a supportive role to maintain the quality of diabetic life.

Table 1: Herbal nutraceuticals with anti-diabetic potential

PlantsFamilyPlant part used
Artocarpus integrifolia LinnMoraceaeRoot barks
Abelmoschus esculentus LinnMalvaceaeFruits
Acacia arabicaLeguminosaeSeeds
Acacia Modesta WallFabaceaeLeaves
Aditatoda zeylanica NeesAcanthaceaeLeaves and fruits
Aegle marmelosRutaceaeRoot bark, fruits
Allium cepaLiliaceaeBulbs
Aloe vera LinnLiliaceaeLeaves
Alternanthera sessilis LinnAmaranthaceaeWhole plant
Amaranthus esculentsAmaranthaceaeThe whole plant, oil
Andrographis paniculata NeesAcanthaceaeRoots
Annona squamosaAnnonaceaeLeaves
Artemisia pallensCompositaeAerial parts
Biophytum sensitive LinnOxalidaceaeLeaves
Boerhaubia diffusa LinnNyctaginaceaeAerial parts
Caesalpinia bonducella RoxbCaesalpiniaceaeSeeds
Camellia sinensisTheaceaeLeaves
Casearia esculentaFlacourtiaceaeRoots
Cassia auriculata LinnLeguminosaeFlowers
Catharanthus roseusApocynaceaeAerial parts
Cinnamomum zulanicum NeesLauraceaeStem barks
Coccinia indicaCucurbitaceaeLeaves
Coscinium fenestratumMenispermaceaeStem barks
Cucurbita maxima DuchCucurbitaceaeAerial parts
Dioscorea bulbifera LinnDioscoreaceaeBulbs
Eugenia jumbolana LamMyrtaceaeSeeds
Ficus bengalensisMoraceaeBarks
Foeniculum Vulgare MillApiaceaeVolatile oil
Glycyrrhiza glabra LinnLeguminosaeRoots
Hibiscus rosaMalvaceaeWhole part
Madhuka longifoliaSapotaceaeBarks
Mangifera indica LinnAnacardiaceaeLeaves
Momordica charantiaCucurbitaceaeFruits
Morinda tincture RoxbRubiaceaeFruits
Morus albaMoraceaeLeaves
Morus IndicaMoraceaeLeaves
Mucuna pruriontsLeguminosaeWhole plant
Murraya koenigiRutaceaeLeaves
Ocimum sanctum LinnLabiataeLeaves
Piper betlePiperaceaeLeaves
Pterocarpus marsupium RoxbFabaceaeWood
Punica granatumPuniaceaeWhole plants
Rubus ellipticus SmithRosaceaeFruits
Sida cordifoliaMalvaceaeRoots
Sorbus decoraRosaceaInner barks
Strychnos potatorum LinnLoganiaceaeRipened fruits
Swertia chirayitaGentianaceaeBarks
Tabernaemontana divaricata LinnApocynaceaeFlowers
Terminalia chebulaCombretaceaeSeeds
Tinospora cordifoliaMenispermaceaeRoots
Trigonella foenumgraecumLeguminosaeSeeds
Withanias omniferaSolanaceaeRoots
Various vitamins and micronutrients used as nutraceuticals in the treatment of diabetes
Fig.1: Various vitamins and micronutrients used as nutraceuticals in the treatment of diabetes
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Classification of Nutraceuticals
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