Natural Products for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus


In the past decade, there has been an increase in the use of natural products in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Several agents, such as guar gum, magnesium, oat bran, blond psyllium, and soy, have shown efficacy for treatment of T2DM. Objective: To review the scientific literature to identify effects of natural products (i.e., dietary supplements) for the treatment of T2DM. Methods: A search of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database was performed to identify natural products advocated for the treatment of T2DM. Natural products categorized as both “possibly effective” and “likely safe” (guar gum, magnesium, oat bran, blond psyllium, and soy) were selected for review. A MEDLINE (1950-March 2013) literature review was performed. Articles published within the last ten years (January 2003-March 2013) and pertinent articles published prior to 2003 were included in this review. Diabetes prevention studies were not selected for this review. Conclusions: Based on the published information, there is little evidence to support the use of herbal products for the treatment of T2DM. Some agents may be useful as adjunctive therapy; however, patients should be encouraged to speak with their health care practitioner before starting or stopping any herbal products.

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Mansukhani, R. , Volino, L. and Varghese, R. (2014) Natural Products for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 487-503. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.55059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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