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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 293961, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/293961
Review Article

The Active Role of Leguminous Plant Components in Type 2 Diabetes

1Department of Internal Medicine, Bytom, Silesian Medical University, 41-902 Bytom, Katowice, Poland
2Department of Human Nutrition, Zabrze, Silesian Medical University, 41-808 Zabrze, Katowice, Poland

Received 10 December 2013; Revised 19 January 2014; Accepted 20 January 2014; Published 11 March 2014

Academic Editor: Menaka C. Thounaojam

Copyright © 2014 Monika Gętek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Diabetes appears to be one of the most frequent noncommunicable diseases in the world. A permanent growth in the incidence of diabetes can be observed and according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) the year 2030 will mark the increase in the number of diabetics to 439 mln worldwide. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of all diabetes incidence. Nutrition model modification not only features the basic element in type 2 diabetes treatment but also constitutes the fundamental factor influencing a morbidity rate decrease. Leguminous plants are a key factor in the diabetic diet; plants such as pulses or soybeans are nutritious products valued highly in nutrition. These legumes are high in the content of wholesome protein and contain large amounts of soluble alimentary fiber fractions, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and bioactive substances with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activity. They are distinguished by the high amount of bioactive compounds that may interfere with the metabolism of glucose. The most significant bioactive compounds displaying antidiabetic activity in leguminous plants are as follows: genistein and daidzein, alpha-amylase inhibitors, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. In vitro research using leguminous plant extracts has confirmed their antidiabetic properties. Leguminous plants should be employed in the promotion of healthy lifestyles in terms of functional food.