OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of mormodica charantia for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
SEARCH METHODS: Several electronic databases were searched, among these were The Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2012), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SIGLE and LILACS (all up to February 2012), combined with handsearches. No language restriction was used.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared momordica charantia with placebo or a control intervention, with or without pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently extracted data. Risk of bias of the trials was evaluated using the parameters of randomisation, allocation concealment, blinding, completeness of outcome data, selective reporting and other potential sources of bias. A meta-analysis was not performed given the quality of data and the variability of preparations of momordica charantia used in the interventions (no similar preparation was tested twice).
MAIN RESULTS: Four randomised controlled trials with up to three months duration and investigating 479 participants met the inclusion criteria. Risk of bias of these trials (only two studies were published as a full peer-reviewed publication) was generally high. Two RCTs compared the effects of preparations from different parts of the momordica charantia plant with placebo on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. There was no statistically significant difference in the glycaemic control with momordica charantia preparations compared to placebo. When momordica charantia was compared to metformin or glibenclamide, there was also no significant change in reliable parameters of glycaemic control. No serious adverse effects were reported in any trial. No trial investigated death from any cause, morbidity, health-related quality of life or costs.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence on the effects of momordica charantia for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Further studies are therefore required to address the issues of standardization and the quality control of preparations. For medical nutritional therapy, further observational trials evaluating the effects of momordica charantia are needed before RCTs are established to guide any recommendations in clinical practice.
METHODS: Phytochemicals, along with their potential antidiabetic property, were classified according to their basic chemical skeleton. The chemical structures of all the compounds with antidiabetic activities were elucidated in the present review. In addition to this, the distribution and their other remarkable pharmacological activities of each species are also included.
RESULTS: The scrutiny of literature led to the identification of 44 plants with antidiabetic compounds (70) and other pharmacological activities. For the sake of information, the distribution of each species in the world is given. Many plant derivatives may exert anti-diabetic properties by improving or mimicking insulin production or action. Different classes of compounds including sulfur compounds (1-4), alkaloids (5-11), phenolic compounds (12-17), tannins (18-23), phenylpropanoids (24-27), xanthanoids (28-31), amino acid (32), stilbenoid (33), benzofuran (34), coumarin (35), flavonoids (36-49) and terpenoids (50-70) were found to be potential active compounds for antidiabetic activity. Of the 70 listed compounds, majorly 17 compounds are obtained from triterpenoids, 13 from flavonoids and 7 from alkaloids. Among all the 44 plant species, the maximum number (7) of compounds were isolated from Lagerstroemia speciosa followed by Momordica charantia (6) and S. oblonga with 5 compounds.
CONCLUSION: This is the first paper to summarize the established chemical structures of phytochemicals that have been successfully screened for antidiabetic potential and their mechanisms of inhibition. The reported compounds could be considered as potential lead molecules for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Further, molecular and clinical trials are required to select and establish therapeutic drug candidates.