Azar et al, Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences vol. 51, n. 1, Jan./mar., 2015
Although currently available drugs are useful in controlling early onset complications of diabetes, serious late onset complications appear in a large number of patients. Considering the physiopathology of diabetes, preventing beta cell degeneration and stimulating the endogenous regeneration of islets will be essential approaches for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The current review focused on phytochemicals, the antidiabetic effect of which has been proved by pancreatic beta cell protection/regeneration. Among the hundreds of plants that have been investigated for diabetes, a small fraction has shown the regenerative property and was described in this paper. Processes of pancreatic beta cell degeneration and regeneration were described. Also, the proposed mechanisms for the protective/regenerative effects of such phytochemicals and their potential side effects were discussed.