D-Pinitol – Insulomimetic – A New Hope for Management of Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus

O.P. Gupta, Pavan Malhotra, Archana Parihar, Shakti Bala and Geetika Gupta

Abstract: D-pinitol (3-O-methyl chiroinositol), an active principle was first discovered from the leaves of Bougainvillea spectabilis. These leaves traditionally being used for various diabetes associated conditions. Later, D-pinitol was found to be present in a number of other plants also. Studies carried out in animals and in human have shown that D-pinitol lowers the blood glucose level and improves utilization of glucose by tissues i.e. it mimics insulin action. D-pinitol gets converted to D-chiroinositol (DCI) in the body. DCI contain phosphoglycans which are known to mediate the action of insulin. Evidently, the insulin like action of D-pinitol is being mediated by the phosphoglycans of DCI. Thus, D-pinitol has the potential to be used as food supplement in patients of diabetes for the effective management of the disease. An important observation made by the authors of this paper while studying the activity of the fraction of a plant was neogenesis of the beta cells of the pancreas. The active principle of the said fraction was fraction was found to be D-pinitol.

The leaves of Bougainvillea spectabilis used in traditional system of medicine for conditions associated with diabetes were found to cause hypoglycaemic effect when fed to normal and diabetic mice by Narayanan et al.1 Later, the chemical analysis was conducted and it was found that D-pinitol was the active principle involved for the production of hypoglycaemic effect. Originally discovered in pine stumps, D-pinitol is now reported to be present in a number of leguminous plants including soy. Studies carried out at pre-clinical and clinical levels with D-pinitol have shown that this possesses insulin like activity. It has been stated that “of all the proposed so called insulomimetics and insulin co-factors, pinitol is the one with most promise”. The effectiveness of D-pinitol has been recorded be leading researchers has been awarded two U.S. patents (5,550,166 and 5,827,896). D-pinitol has been also reported to drive creatine and other nutrients into muscle cells and thereby lead to faster muscle growth and greater physical strength.


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