Research Article - Journal of Diabetology (2021) Volume 5, Issue 3
Use of natural products in prevention and management of type 2 diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for a group of disorders related to imbalance of energy utilization and storage. It includes obesity, hypertension, increased triglyceride levels, aberrant cholesterol levels, insulin resistance with the resulting elevated fasting blood glucose levels. Metabolic syndrome is associated with chronic low-grade local tissue inflammation and increased susceptibility to a variety of degenerative diseases. Lifestyle changes, e.g. more physical exercise, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, can help prevent or delay metabolic syndrome related problems. In addition, certain food supplements or herbal extracts are commonly believed to make an important contribution to a healthy life style. Whereas, there is a consensus that a vegetable-rich diet contributes to a lower occurrence of metabolic syndrome related disorders, the exact nature of the compounds in the diet that contribute to prevention of degenerative diseases is still a matter of debate. Our work sets out to evaluate several models that are currently considered to play a role in the prevention or management of type 2 diabetes. Phytochemicals with antioxidant activity were long believed to be a major contributing factor in the suppression of chronic inflammation. However, all antioxidant compounds do not always have anti-inflammatory properties. Further, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ)-activating potential of a wide range of natural products has been explored in great detail and resulted in a credible model. A third model considers the potential role of phytoestrogens on human physiology. These compounds are known to interact with oestrogen receptors and can modulate a range of cell signaling pathways, either as agonists or as antagonists. The efficacy of several of the identified pharmaceutically active compounds and plant extracts, either as supplements or as dietary factors as part of a healthy life style, may be underpinned by laboratory results. However, caution is justified when considering food supplements in doses that greatly exceed the amounts that would be obtained through a regular diet.
Author(s): Keti Zeka