Editorial [Hot Topic:Botanical Treatments for Diabetes and Obesity (Guest Editor: Jianping Ye)]

Jianping Ye
June 2008
Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets;Jun2008, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p77
Academic Journal
Type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and their cardiovascular complications represent a major public health problem around the world. Strategies for effective prevention and treatment for these devastating diseases are of great interest to the general public, government organization, and the healthcare industry. Dietary interventions are a popular approach used frequently by the general public in the fight against these diseases. In particular, dietary supplementation is a major part of diet intervention. Botanical products as an important category of supplementation are common components in dietary interventions. The most popular botanicals include herbs, tea, and polyphenols. Botanicals represent a potentially rich source of remedies for type 2 diabetes [1, 2]. In the past ten year, botanical research and usage were enhanced significantly in many countries around the world. In the USA, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was established in 1998 [3]. One of the main tasks of NCCAM is to support botanical research. NCCAM is one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the NIH. In June 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidelines accelerating approval of herbal mixtures with evidence of safety and effectiveness, even if the active constituents are not known. In China, a new 15-year plan was established in 2007 to enhance research in Traditional Chinese Medicine with an investment of 1 billion yuan (US$130 million) [4]. This is 5 - 6 times as much as the previous investment. In the past few years, India developed a huge electronic database known as the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library to enhance botanical research [5]. In this special issue, five review articles provide current information on botanicals relevant to the management of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. The first review is prepared for safety and efficacy of botanicals in the clinical management of glucose homeostasis. The reviews 2-4 discuss bioactivities, active components, and mechanisms of action for specific botanicals. Herbs, tea, and phenolic compounds are discussed in these three articles for management of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. Herbs provide fertile ground for modern drug development [6-8]. However, the process of developing a drug from herbs is complicated [9]. The fifth review documents standard procedures and key points in preparation of botanicals. This special issue devoted to “Botanical Treatments for Diabetes and Obesity” is a timely and helpful reference of this important emerging area of research. REFERENCE [1] Dey, L.; Attele, A.S.; Yuan, C.S. (2002) Altern. Med. Rev., 7, 45-58. [2] Yeh, G.Y.; Eisenberg, D.M.; Kaptchuk, T.J.; Phillips, R.S. (2003) Diabetes Care, 26, 1277-1294. [3] Richardson, M.A. (2001) J. Nutr., 131, 3037S-3040S. [4] Qiu, J. (2007) Nature, 446, 590-591. [5] Jayaraman, K.S. (2006) Nature, 442, 342-343. [6] Towie, N. (2006) Nature, 440, 852-853. [7] Qiu, J. (2007) Nature, 448, 126-128. [8] Corson, T.W.; Crews, C.M. (2007) Cell, 130, 769-774. [9] Editorial, N. (2007) Nature, 448, 105-106.


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