Updates on managing type 2 diabetes mellitus with natural products: Towards antidiabetic drug development

Fahmida Alam, Md Asiful Islam, Mohammad Amjad Kamal, Siew Hua Gan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Over the years, natural products have shown success as antidiabetics in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials. Because natural product-derived drugs are more affordable and effective with fewer side-effects compared to conventional therapies, pharmaceutical research is increasingly leaning towards the discovery of new antidiabetic drugs from natural products targeting pathways or components associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) pathophysiology. However, the drug discovery process is very lengthy and costly with significant challenges. Therefore, various techniques are currently being developed for the preclinical research phase of drug discovery with the aim of drug development with less time and efforts from natural products. In this review, we have provided an update on natural products including fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, beverages and mushrooms with potential antidiabetic activities from in vivo, in vitro and clinical studies. Synergistic interactions between natural products and antidiabetic drugs; and potential antidiabetic active compounds from natural products are also documented to pave the way for combination treatment and new drug discovery, respectively. Additionally, a brief idea of the drug discovery process along with the challenges that arise during drug development from natural products and the methods to conquer those challenges are discussed to create a more convenient future drug discovery process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5395-5431
Number of pages37
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Drug development
  • In vitro
  • In vivo
  • Natural products
  • Synergistic interaction
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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