Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most severe public health problems in the world. In recent years, evidences show a commonness of utilization of alternative medicines such as phytomedicine for the treatment of T2DM. Phenolic acids are the most common compounds in non-flavonoid group of phenolic compounds and have been suggested to have a potential to lower the risk of T2DM. Skeletal muscle is the major organ that contributes to the pathophysiology of T2DM. Studies have shown that several phenolic acids (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, salicylic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, sinapic acid) have antidiabetic effects, and these compounds have been implicated in the regulation of skeletal muscle glucose metabolism, especially glucose transport. Glucose transport is a major regulatory step for whole-body glucose disposal, and the glucose transport processes are regulated mainly through two different systems: insulin-dependent and insulin-independent mechanism. In this chapter, we reviewed recent experimental evidences linking phenolic acids to glucose metabolism focusing on insulin-dependent and insulin-independent glucose transport systems and the upstream signaling events in skeletal muscle.
Part of the book: Phenolic Compounds