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Life Sci. 1999;65(25):2663-77.

Natural products with hypoglycemic, hypotensive, hypocholesterolemic, antiatherosclerotic and antithrombotic activities.

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Department of Microbiology, China Agricultural University, Beijing.


This article reviews compounds of botanical origin which are capable of lowering plasma levels of glucose and cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as compounds inhibiting atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Hypoglycemic natural products comprise flavonoids, xanthones, triterpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides, alkyldisulfides, aminobutyric acid derivatives, guanidine, polysaccharides and peptides. Hypotensive compounds include flavonoids, diterpenes, alkaloids, glycosides, polysaccharides and proteins. Among natural products with hypocholesterolemic activity are beta-carotene, lycopene, cycloartenol, beta-sitosterol, sitostanol, saponin, soybean protein, indoles, dietary fiber, propionate, mevinolin (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitor) and polysaccharides. Heparins, flavonoids, tocotrienols, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins), garlic compounds and fungal proteases exert antithrombotic action. Statins and garlic compounds also possess antiatherosclerotic activity.

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