Background: Over the past decades, the development and use of an array of prescription
medications have considerably improved the clinical management of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the
quality of life of patients. However, as our knowledge of the associated risk factors and approaches to
its management increases, the increasing roles of diet and the composition of the diet in the etiology
and successful management of diabetes mellitus are being illuminated. Presently, a lot of attention is
being given to nutraceuticals and certain phytochemicals that are integral parts of the human diet. It is
believed that a clearer understanding of their roles may be crucial to ‘non-invasive’ or minimallyintrusive
management, with regards to daily living of patients. In this review, an overview of nutraceutical
components and phytochemicals that may be of benefit, or had been known to be beneficial in
diabetes mellitus is given. Also, how the roles of such dietary components are evolving in the management
of this disorder is highlighted. Lastly, the obstacles that need to be overcome before nutraceuticals
can be considered as options for the clinical management of diabetes mellitus areconsidered.
Conclusion: Despite studies that demonstrate their efficacy, no nutraceutical or food-derived compound
has been formally adopted as a direct replacement for any class of antidiabetic drugs.