Use of Natural Products in the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


Volume Title




Book chapter

Peer reviewed



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, and insulin resistance with resulting elevated fasting blood glucose levels that usually result in diabetes. 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 fruits and vegetables, etc. 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, i.e glucomannan. 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 the prevention of degenerative diseases is still a matter of debate. This chapter book sets out to evaluate several natural products 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, not all antioxidant compounds 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 signalling pathways, either as agonists or as antagonists. The efficacy of several of the identified pharmaceutically active compounds and plant extracts, either as supplements, dietary factors or as part of a healthy life style, may be supported 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.


Book chapter, jointly written with authors from University of Cambridge, UK (Department of Haematology) and IBB University, Nigeria (Faculty of Natural Sciences)


Alloxan, Anti-hyperglycemic, Anti-hyperlipidemic, Diabetes, Glucomannan, Streptozotocin


Zeka, K., Alfa, H.H., Ruparelia, K.C. and Arroo, R.R.J. (2019) Chapter 8 - Use of Natural Products in the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes. In: Atta-ur-Rahman (Ed.) Studies in Natural Products Chemistry, Volume 63 - 1st Edition, Bioactive Natural Products, .Elsevier, pp. 182-196


Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)