Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents for holistic treatment of diabetes


Diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disease linked with different pathological pathways such as the development of insulin resistance, beta cell dysfunction, impaired insulin signaling, abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism. Diabetes is becoming more and more common, especially in developing nations. It is fueled by rising obesity over the lifespan, primarily due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits.

In the not-too-distant future, Diabetes is predicted to affect 9.3% of the world’s population. Over 500 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes (T2D), and an additional 500 million have impaired glucose tolerance, which is partially brought on by inadequate dietary consumption. The prevalence of obesity is progressively rising in India, where most of the population follows a vegetarian diet and relies heavily on cereals. By 2030, it is predicted that 80 million Indians will have Diabetes, significantly outnumbering China’s 45 million and the United States’ 35 million. Despite being of normal weight, the Indian population is said to be “metabolically obese,” putting them at a greater risk of developing T2D and vascular disease. Thus, diets high in simple sugars (sucrose/fructose), low in protein, especially in important amino acids, and low in nutraceuticals, especially phytochemicals, have a deleterious impact on immunological and metabolic health. The availability of numerous antidiabetic medicines has increased due to improvements in pharmaceutical therapy. Surprisingly, a lot of pharmaceutical substances, like aspirin, have a plant origin. Additionally, new recommendations for precision nutrition and medication to extend life expectancy aim to treat and manage Diabetes and its complications by extending patients’ lives with quality. This strategy strongly promotes the look for brand-new compounds that aren’t pharmaceuticals.

This is partly because of their impact when combined with an active lifestyle (exercise and a balanced diet), which may be very beneficial for treating and preventing chronic diseases. Therefore, incorporating plant-based functional foods and specific anti-inflammatory phytochemicals into the diet from a young age may help to prevent or reduce chronic low-grade inflammation linked to obesity as well as Diabetes, which will improve quality of life. DeFelice originally used the phrase “nutraceutical” in 1989, and it is now generally understood to refer to “any substance that may be considered a food or part of a food that delivers medical or health advantages, including the prevention and treatment of disease.” Such goods could include isolated foods, nutritional supplements, nutrients, diets, GM foods, herbal products, and processed foods (cereals, soups, and beverages). With the use of nutraceutical products, human curiosity and the search for a particular natural component that improves human health can be satiated.

Nutraceuticals in Diabetes mellitus:

The use of nutraceuticals as alternatives to conventional medicine and sources of health benefits has gained popularity in recent years. Utilizing nutraceuticals may make it feasible to lessen or do away with the requirement for conventional pharmaceuticals, lowering the risk of any negative side effects like diabetes mellitus. Different studies and traditional knowledge support the use of nutraceuticals in diabetes management [10].

Lipoic acid: It improves type 2 diabetes mellitus patients’ insulin sensitivity by about 18–20%. A clinical trial assessment of α-Lipoic acid for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy found positive benefits on the onset of symptoms and the course of the condition.

Co-enzyme Q10: Among subjects with hypertension, coenzyme Q10 is a promising nutritional supplement for insulin resistance. In 59 hypertension patients, a randomized, double-blind.

The author is MD, Clinical Pharmacologist and Nutra-ceutical Physician, Founder and CEO IntelliMed Health-care Solutions.