A closer look at the anti-diabetic properties of flavonoids found in traditional Chinese medicine


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(Natural News) Researchers from China systematically summarized the results of studies on flavonoids from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with anti-diabetic properties. Their review was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic disorders marked by high blood sugar levels.
  • Approximately four percent of people around the world suffer from DM.
  • Due to the toxicity and side effects of oral or injectable hypoglycemic drugs, researchers have turned to natural products and TCM in search of new and safer alternative treatments.
  • Flavonoids are widely distributed plant compounds that exhibit anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic properties. They also have the potential to treat diabetic complications.
  • After searching different databases for studies on anti-diabetic flavonoids, the researchers identified 13 flavonoids from TCM herbs.
  • Apigenin, baicalein and catechin are known to reduce blood glucose via their antioxidant activities.
  • Hesperidin is good for diabetic neuropathy (DN), while Glycyrrhiza flavonoids have a significant effect on gestational DM.
  • Quercetin can cross the blood-brain barrier and improve renal function, while kaempferol and puerarin can treat cardiomyopathy and prevent diabetic complications.
  • Myricetin has shown potential as a natural treatment for DM and DN, while dinhydromyricetin is believed improve diabetes-induced cognitive impairment.

The researchers believe that the anti-diabetic effects of these TCM-derived flavonoids on humans should be explored by future studies to confirm their potency.

Journal Reference:

Bai L, Li X, He L, Zheng Y, Lu H, Li J, Zhong L, Tong R, Jiang Z, Shi J, et al. ANTIDIABETIC POTENTIAL OF FLAVONOIDS FROM TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE: A REVIEW. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2019;47(05):933–957. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x19500496


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