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Investigating the potential of puerarin for managing symptoms of diabetes

Researchers from the University of Macau and Zunyi Medical University in China summarized the beneficial effects of puerarin on diabetes mellitus and its complications, as well as the mechanisms underlying these effects. This review was published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most challenging public health problems globally.
  • The increasing prevalence and mortality rate of DM call for more effective treatments, especially for DM complications.
  • Traditional herbal medicine has a long history of clinical application for the treatment of DM.
  • Puerarin from Pueraria lobata (kudzu) is a natural isoflavone consumed both as a functional food and a medicinal herb in East Asia.
  • According to studies, puerarin has cardio-protective, neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Puerarin can benefit people with DM by lowering their blood glucose levels, improving their insulin resistance, protecting their pancreatic islets, inhibiting inflammation, decreasing oxidative stress and inhibiting Maillard reaction and the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
  • Puerarin can also delay and improve DM complications such as cardiovascular complications, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy.
  • However, comprehensive studies on its effect and mechanisms are needed, especially since its efficacy is relatively low partially due to its pharmacokinetic profile.

The researchers believe that puerarin is a potential adjuvant for the treatment of DM and DM complications that should be further studied.

Journal Reference:

Chen X, Yu J, Shi J. MANAGEMENT OF DIABETES MELLITUS WITH PUERARIN, A NATURAL ISOFLAVONE FROM PUERARIA LOBATA. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2018;46(08):1771–1789. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x18500891

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