European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1275–1299 | Cite as

Antidiabetic plant-derived nutraceuticals: a critical review

  • Jayapal Naveen
  • Vallikannan BaskaranEmail author


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the major health problems in the world, especially amongst the urban population. Chemically synthesized drugs used to decrease the ill effects of DM and its secondary complications cause adverse side effects, viz., weight gain, gastrointestinal disturbances, and heart failure. Currently, various other approaches, viz., diet control, physical exercise and use of antidiabetic plant-derived molecules/foods are advocated to manage DM, as they are economical with fewer or no side effects. This review mainly focuses on antidiabetic plants, chemically characterized plant molecules and plant-based foods in the treatment of DM. Very little science-based evidence is available on the mechanism of action of plant-derived food molecules on the DM targets. Critical DM targets include α-amylase, α-glucosidase, DPP-IV, aldose reductase, PPAR-γ, AMP kinase and GLUT4. In-depth studies carried out on a few of those targets with specific mechanisms of action are addressed in this review. This review may help future researchers in identifying a right plant molecule to treat DM or to develop food formulations for DM management.


Antidiabetic Diabetes mellitus Insulin Nutraceuticals 



Author Dr. Naveen, J. (Award No. F./PDFSS-2015-17-KAR-11600) greatly acknowledges the University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India, for financial assistance. The authors are grateful to Dr. N. S. Mahendrakar, Ex-chief editor, Journal of Food Science and Technology, for editing the manuscript for its English language.

Author contributions

First author NJ performed the literature search and prepared the manuscript. Corresponding author VB edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryCSIR–Central Food Technological Research InstituteMysoreIndia

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