The anti-diabetic potential of polysaccharides extracted from members of the cucurbit family: A review

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Simpson, Rachel ; Morris, Gordon (2014)

Diabetes is a growing global problem and a heavy financial burden on health care services. It is estimated that over 380 million people suffer from this condition which causes many deaths each year in addition to being associated with increased risk of other health problems. Traditional medicine is a promising area of research in diabetes therapy as it is widely accessible and it is believed that over 200 plants have anti-diabetic properties including members of the cucurbit family. Studies in animal and human models have shown that treatment with some cucurbits has hypoglycaemic effects and stimulates beta cell regeneration in addition to other anti-diabetic effects which are equal to that of commonly prescribed anti-diabetic drugs. It has also been shown that at least one of the bioactive components which stimulate these effects is a polysaccharide.
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