Bioactive Plant Metabolites in the Management of Non-Communicable Metabolic Diseases: Looking at Opportunities beyond the Horizon

Metabolites. 2015 Dec 12;5(4):733-65. doi: 10.3390/metabo5040733.


There has been an unprecedented worldwide rise in non-communicable metabolic diseases (NCDs), particularly cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes. While modern pharmacotherapy has decreased the mortality in the existing population, it has failed to stem the rise. Furthermore, a large segment of the world population cannot afford expensive pharmacotherapy. Therefore, there is an urgent need for inexpensive preventive measures to control the rise in CVD and diabetes and associated co-morbidities. The purpose of this review is to explore the role of food bioactives in prevention of NCDs. To this end, we have critically analyzed the possible utility of three classes of food bioactives: (a) resistant starch, a metabolically resistant carbohydrate known to favorably modulate insulin secretion and glucose metabolism; (b) cyclo (His-Pro), a food-derived cyclic dipeptides; and (c) polyphenol-rich berries. Finally, we have also briefly outlined the strategies needed to prepare these food-bioactives for human use.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; cyclo (His-Pro); diabetes; food bioactives; functional food; polyphenols; resistant starch.

Publication types

  • Review