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The use of plants in the traditional management of diabetes in Nigeria: Pharmacological and toxicological considerations

Ezuruike, UF and Prieto, JM (2014) The use of plants in the traditional management of diabetes in Nigeria: Pharmacological and toxicological considerations. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 155 (2). pp. 857-924. ISSN 0378-8741

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.05.055 (Published version)


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The prevalence of diabetes is on a steady increase worldwide and it is now identified as one of the main threats to human health in the 21st century. In Nigeria, the use of herbal medicine alone or alongside prescription drugs for its management is quite common. We hereby carry out a review of medicinal plants traditionally used for diabetes management in Nigeria. Based on the available evidence on the species׳ pharmacology and safety, we highlight ways in which their therapeutic potential can be properly harnessed for possible integration into the country׳s healthcare system.
Materials and methods: Ethnobotanical information was obtained from a literature search of electronic databases such as Google Scholar, Pubmed and Scopus up to 2013 for publications on medicinal plants used in diabetes management, in which the place of use and/or sample collection was identified as Nigeria. ‘Diabetes’ and ‘Nigeria’ were used as keywords for the primary searches; and then ‘Plant name – accepted or synonyms’, ‘Constituents’, ‘Drug interaction’ and/or ‘Toxicity’ for the secondary searches.
Results: The hypoglycemic effect of over a hundred out of the 115 plants reviewed in this paper is backed by preclinical experimental evidence, either in vivo or in vitro. One-third of the plants have been studied for their mechanism of action, while isolation of the bioactive constituent(s) has been accomplished for twenty three plants.
Some plants showed specific organ toxicity, mostly nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic, with direct effects on the levels of some liver function enzymes. Twenty eight plants have been identified as in vitro modulators of P-glycoprotein and/or one or more of the cytochrome P450 enzymes, while eleven plants altered the levels of phase 2 metabolic enzymes, chiefly glutathione, with the potential to alter the pharmacokinetics of co-administered drugs.
Conclusion: This review, therefore, provides a useful resource to enable a thorough assessment of the profile of plants used in diabetes management so as to ensure a more rational use. By anticipating potential toxicities or possible herb–drug interactions, significant risks which would otherwise represent a burden on the country׳s healthcare system can be avoided.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0607 Plant Biology, 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 11:35
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 06:42
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.05.055
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13622
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