Does garlic have a role as an antidiabetic agent?

Authors


Abstract

Diabetes affects a large segment of the population worldwide, and the prevalence of this disease is rapidly increasing. Despite the availability of medication for diabetes, traditional remedies are desirable and are currently being investigated. Garlic (Allium sativum), which is a common cooking spice and has a long history as a folk remedy, has been reported to have antidiabetic activity. However, there is no general agreement on the use of garlic for antidiabetic purposes, primarily because of a lack of scientific evidence from human studies and inconsistent data from animal studies. The validity of data from previous studies of the hypoglycemic effect of garlic in diabetic animals and the preventive effects of garlic on diabetes complications are discussed in this review. The role of garlic as both an insulin secretagogue and as an insulin sensitizer is reviewed. Evidence suggests that garlic's antioxidative, antiinflammatory, and antiglycative properties are responsible for garlic's role in preventing diabetes progression and the development of diabetes-related complications. Large-scale clinical studies with diabetic patients are warranted to confirm the usefulness of garlic in the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

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