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Flavonoids and Their Anti-Diabetic Effects: Cellular Mechanisms and Effects to Improve Blood Sugar Levels

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Education City, Qatar Foundation, Doha 24144, Qatar
Department of Medical Biology and Department of Experimental Carcinogenesis, Division of Oncology, Biomedical Center Martin, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, 03601 Martin, Slovak Republic
Department of Pathology, St. Elizabeth Cancer Institute Hospital, 81250 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Biomedical Research Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 81439 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(9), 430;
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 1 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Bio-inspired Molecules)
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a prevailing global health metabolic disorder, with an alarming incidence rate and a huge burden on health care providers. DM is characterized by the elevation of blood glucose due either to a defect in insulin synthesis, secretion, binding to receptor, or an increase of insulin resistance. The internal and external factors such as obesity, urbanizations, and genetic mutations could increase the risk of developing DM. Flavonoids are phenolic compounds existing as secondary metabolites in fruits and vegetables as well as fungi. Their structure consists of 15 carbon skeletons and two aromatic rings (A and B) connected by three carbon chains. Flavonoids are furtherly classified into 6 subclasses: flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, flavanols, and anthocyanidins. Naturally occurring flavonoids possess anti-diabetic effects. As in vitro and animal model’s studies demonstrate, they have the ability to prevent diabetes and its complications. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge addressing the antidiabetic effects of dietary flavonoids and their underlying molecular mechanisms on selected pathways: Glucose transporter, hepatic enzymes, tyrosine kinase inhibitor, AMPK, PPAR, and NF-κB. Flavonoids improve the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications through the regulation of glucose metabolism, hepatic enzymes activities, and a lipid profile. Most studies illustrate a positive role of specific dietary flavonoids on diabetes, but the mechanisms of action and the side effects need more clarification. Overall, more research is needed to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of diabetes treatment using flavonoids. View Full-Text
Keywords: diabetes mellitus; flavonoids; hyperglycemia; anti-diabetic; lipogenesis diabetes mellitus; flavonoids; hyperglycemia; anti-diabetic; lipogenesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

AL-Ishaq, R.K.; Abotaleb, M.; Kubatka, P.; Kajo, K.; Büsselberg, D. Flavonoids and Their Anti-Diabetic Effects: Cellular Mechanisms and Effects to Improve Blood Sugar Levels. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 430.

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