Several lines of evidence suggest that flavonoids that originated from vegetables and medicinal plants have beneficial effects on diabetes by improving glycemic control, lipid profile, and antioxidant status. Rutin is a flavonoid found in many plants and shows a wide range of biological activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, and hepatoprotective effects. In this review, the antihyperglycemic property of rutin and its protective effects against the development of diabetic complications are discussed. Proposed mechanisms for the antihyperglycemic effect of rutin include a decrease of carbohydrates absorption from the small intestine, inhibition of tissue gluconeogenesis, an increase of tissue glucose uptake, stimulation of insulin secretion from beta cells, and protecting Langerhans islet against degeneration. Rutin also decreases the formation of sorbitol, reactive oxygen species, advanced glycation end-product precursors, and inflammatory cytokines. These effects are considered to be responsible for the protective effect of rutin against hyperglycemia- and dyslipidemia-induced nephropathy, neuropathy, liver damage, and cardiovascular disorders. Taken together, the results of current experimental studies support the potential of rutin to prevent or treat pathologies associated with diabetes. Well-designed clinical studies are suggested to evaluate the advantages and limits of rutin for managing diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Flavonoids; Glucose; Lipids; Mechanism; Rutin.
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