The purpose of this review is to discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of flavonoids focusing on carbohydrate metabolism. The beneficial effects of flavonoids have been studied in relation to diabetes mellitus, either through their capacity to avoid glucose absorption or to improve glucose tolerance. Furthermore, flavonoids stimulate glucose uptake in peripheral tissues, regulate the activity and/or expression of the rate-limiting enzymes in the carbohydrate metabolism pathway and act per se as insulin secretagogues or insulin mimetics, probably, by influencing the pleiotropic mechanisms of insulin signaling, to ameliorate the diabetes status.
Keywords: Flavonoids, mechanism of action, glycemia, insulin, diabetes
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