The protective effect of Azadirachta indica (neem) against metabolic syndrome: A review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Metabolic syndrome is a condition associated with obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure. Recently, the use of phytochemicals is suggested in the control and treatment of metabolic syndrome. The Azadirachta indica (neem) is an evergreen tree belonging to the family of Meliaceae. Multiple studies have been confirmed the anti-diabetic and anti-hypertension, anti-hyperlipidemia, and anti-obesity effects of neem. In this review, we reported the protective effects of neem against the complications of metabolic syndrome with a special focus on mechanisms that are involved. It has been shown that neem can control hyperglycemia and hypertension through over-expression of transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor 2 (Nrf2) and anti-oxidant effects. Neem also reduced the glucose uptake through up-regulation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and inhibition of key intestinal enzymes such as glucosidases. Moreover, neem showed anti-hypertensive effects possibility via the block of calcium channels, up-regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway. Anti-oxidant effects play an important role in protective mechanisms of neem against metabolic syndrome and its complications.


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