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Review Article

Novel Phytochemical Constituents and their Potential to Manage Diabetes

[ Vol. 27 , Issue. 6 ]


Shaik I. Khalivulla*, Arifullah Mohammed* and Kokkanti Mallikarjuna   Pages 775 - 788 ( 14 )


Background: Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting a large population worldwide and stands as one of the major global health challenges to be tackled. According to World Health Organization, about 400 million are having diabetes worldwide and it is the seventh leading cause of deaths in 2016. Plant-based natural products have been in use from ancient times as ethnomedicine for the treatment of several diseases, including diabetes. As a result of that, there are several reports on plant-based natural products displaying antidiabetic activity. In the current review, such antidiabetic potential compounds reported from all plant sources along with their chemical structures are collected, presented and discussed. These kinds of reports are essential to pool the available information to one source, followed by statistical analysis and screening to check the efficacy of all known compounds in a comparative sense. This kind of analysis can give rise to a few potential compounds from hundreds, which can further be screened through in vitro and in vivo studies, and human trails leading to the drug development.

Methods: Phytochemicals, along with their potential antidiabetic property, were classified according to their basic chemical skeleton. The chemical structures of all the compounds with antidiabetic activities were elucidated in the present review. In addition to this, the distribution and their other remarkable pharmacological activities of each species are also included.

Results: The scrutiny of literature led to the identification of 44 plants with antidiabetic compounds (70) and other pharmacological activities. For the sake of information, the distribution of each species in the world is given. Many plant derivatives may exert anti-diabetic properties by improving or mimicking insulin production or action. Different classes of compounds including sulfur compounds (1-4), alkaloids (5-11), phenolic compounds (12-17), tannins (18-23), phenylpropanoids (24-27), xanthanoids (28-31), amino acid (32), stilbenoid (33), benzofuran (34), coumarin (35), flavonoids (36-49) and terpenoids (50-70) were found to be potential active compounds for antidiabetic activity. Of the 70 listed compounds, majorly 17 compounds are obtained from triterpenoids, 13 from flavonoids and 7 from alkaloids. Among all the 44 plant species, the maximum number (7) of compounds were isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa followed by Momordica charantia (6) and S. oblonga with 5 compounds.

Conclusion: This is the first paper to summarize the established chemical structures of phytochemicals that have been successfully screened for antidiabetic potential and their mechanisms of inhibition. The reported compounds could be considered as potential lead molecules for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Further, molecular and clinical trials are required to select and establish therapeutic drug candidates.


Insulin hormone, diabetes mellitus, antidiabetic plants, secondary metabolites, chemical structures, potential therapeutics.


Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras 56000, Kuala Lumpur, Institute of Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture (IFSSA), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Jeli Campus, Jeli 17600, Kelantan, Department of Botany and Microbiology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar - 522 510, Andhra Pradesh

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