Phytotherapy in the Management of Diabetes and Hypertension

Volume: 1

Cellular Nutrition and Nutritional Medicine in Diabetes and Related Complications: An Overview

Author(s): Debprasad Chattopadhyay and Mohamed Eddouks

Pp: 3-59 (57)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608050147112010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Diabetes is a chronic condition of impaired glucose cycle that alters the whole metabolism leading to high blood glucose level. Diabetes occurs when the pancreatic beta cells are either unable to produce enough insulin, or the body cells were unable to use available insulin effectively. Insulin, a storage hormone produced in the pancreatic beta cells, helps to absorb glucose for the production of energy during cellular respiration. Thus, failure of absorbing glucose by body cells results in the accumulation of glucose in the blood, which is termed as hyperglycemia. Excess blood glucose causes serious damage to the major organ systems, leading to the heart disease, kidney failure (nephropathy), blindness (retinopathy), loss of sensation in the feet and hands and even an early death. Thus, diabetes is a chronic condition where the body's ability to convert food into energy is impaired. Prevalence of diabetes along with dyslipidaemia is increasing at an explosive rate throughout the globe. Though the exact cause is unknown, many factors are believed to play roles in this pathogenesis. Genetic predispositions, faulty dietary patterns, and sedentary life-styles are the key factors for the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes. This progressive disease develops through many years, and pre-diabetic condition is known to be reversible. Though antidiabetic drugs are the first line of defence to control blood glucose level, conventional therapy is unable to cure it, nor can prevent the long term damage of the vital systems, but needs to be used lifelong. On the other hand, the benefit of nutritional medicine and dietary supplementation in diabetes is less explored scientifically. Therefore, the safer alternatives to prevent, or minimize the long term damage and control of diabetes need a combination of healthy eating, regular physical activity, monitoring of blood glucose level, dietary control and nutritional medicine. This review will cover not only the different aspects of diabetes, but also the role of complementary personalized therapy using nutrition and nutritional medicine in its management, highlighting a proper blend of conventional therapy with nutraceuticals, for effective diabetes management.

Keywords: Diabetes, pathophysiology, cellular mechanism, dyslipidaemia.

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