Herbal and traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular complications in diabetes mellitus.Curr Diabetes Rev 2008; 4(4):320-8CD
Cardiovascular diseases, the number one causes of death worldwide, are responsible for the majority of the increased morbidity and mortality seen in patients with diabetes mellitus. Useful therapies for diabetes include lifestyle modification and drugs to lower conventional cardiovascular risk factors, such as metformin, thiazolindinedione, sulfonylureas and evidence-based drugs. These hypoglycemic or antihyperglycemic agents are widely used either for monotherapy or in combination to improve glycemic control and to slow disease progression associated with a decline in pancreatic function in diabetic patients. In addition, a large body of clinical evidence has suggested that the appropriate use of traditional Chinese medicines with modern Western medicinal, or mainstream antidiabetic drugs, can prevent or ameliorate the development of diabetic complications. The traditional Chinese medicine diagnostics are based on "zheng" or "symptom", a system emphasizing the overall function of the human body. Since diabetes is a rather complicated metabolic disorder involving multi-organ damage, a majority of diabetic patients may be subject to multi-pharmacy to combat symptoms resulting from diabetes. Many diabetic patients choose alternative therapeutic approaches such as herbal or traditional Chinese medicine along with the mainstream anti-diabetic drugs, thus making alternative therapy for diabetes a popular remedy. In this review, we will briefly summarize the application of herbal or traditional Chinese medicinal therapy for diabetes with an emphasis on diabetic cardiovascular complications.