Background: Aldol reductase (AR) is the polyol pathway's main enzyme that portrays a crucial part
in developing ‘complications of diabetes’ involving cataract, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. These
diabetic abnormalities are triggered tremendously via aggregation of sorbitol formation (catalyzed by AR) in
the polyol pathway. Consequently, it represents an admirable therapeutic target and vast research was done for
the discovery of novel molecules as potential AR inhibitors for diabetic complications.
Objective: This review article has been planned to discuss an outline of diabetic complications, AR and its role
in diabetic complications, natural compounds reported as AR inhibitors, and benefits of natural/plant derived
AR inhibitors for the management of diabetic abnormalities.
Results: The goal of AR inhibition remedy is to stabilize the increased flux of blood glucose and sorbitol via
the ‘polyol pathway’ in the affected tissues. A variety of synthetic inhibitors of AR have been established such
as tolrestat and sorbinil, but both of these face limitations including low permeability and health problems. Pharmaceutical
industries and other scientists were also undertaking work to develop newer, active, and ‘safe’ AR
inhibitors from natural sources. Therefore, several naturally found molecules were documented to possess a potent
inhibitory action on AR activity.
Conclusion: Natural inhibitors of AR appeared as harmless pharmacological agents for controlling diabetic
complications. The detailed literature throughout this article shows the significance of herbal extracts and phytochemicals
as prospective useful AR inhibitors in treating diabetic complications.