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Therapeutic Potentials and Cytochrome P450-Mediated Interactions Involving Herbal Products Indicated for Diabetes Mellitus

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Background: There has been an increase in the use of herbal products to complement conventional drugs in the treatment of various diseases especially in developing countries. This may be attributable to the potential cost-effectiveness and ease of accessibility of these products as well as the perception of their safety profiles. However, there are numerous literature reports on herbs altering the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of other co-administered drugs thereby modulating the therapeutic outcomes. The prevalence of diabetes is on a steady increase worldwide and it is now identified as one of the main threats to human health.

Objective: It is important that knowledge on specific effects of antidiabetic herbs and their products on drug metabolizing enzymes are updated and documented so as to ensure optimization of their therapeutic utility. This review, therefore, aims to highlight herbal products with evidence-based antidiabetic effects, identify their bioactive phyto-constituents, and also focus on the important Cytochrome P450 and consequences of their inhibition or induction.

Methods: An extensive literature search was undertaken and the information obtained were critically analyzed and discussed.

Results and Conclusion: The literature abounds with reports on the utilization of herbal medications for the treatment of diabetes mellitus since time immemorial, but very few of these herbal products have undergone clinical trials. Also, studies on the herb-drug interactions were limited. Due to the complex phytochemical composition of the herbs, concomitant administration with conventional drugs resulted in alterations of pharmacological effects of some drugs. Evidences of beneficial interactions were identified for medical exploitation.
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Keywords: Diabetes; antidiabetic effects; antidiabetic herbal products; cytochrome P450; herb-drug interaction; phyto-constituents

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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  • Drug Metabolism Letters publishes short papers on major advances in all areas of drug metabolism and disposition. The emphasis will be on publishing quality papers very rapidly. Letters will be processed rapidly by taking full advantage of the Internet technology for both the submission and review of manuscripts. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites, reactive intermediate and glutathione conjugates.
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