A review of the effects of Urtica dioica (nettle) in metabolic syndrome

Document Type : Review Article


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

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



Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition, yet a common worldwide disorder. It includes several risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and high glucose levels which lead the patients to higher risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and stroke. Phytotherapy plays an important role in treating components of metabolic syndrome. Nettle (Urtica dioica) is considered a valuable plant due to bioactive compounds such as formic acid and rich sources of flavonoids. To acknowledge the role of nettle in metabolic syndrome, several mechanisms have been suggested such as alterations in potassium and calcium channels which improve hypertension. Antihyperlipidemic properties of nettle are mediated by inhibition of HMGCoA reductase and amelioration of lipid peroxidation via antioxidant effects. Also, one of the flavonoids in nettle, quercetin, is responsible for decreasing total cholesterol. Moreover, nettle is responsible for anti-diabetic effects through processes such as increasing insulin secretion and proliferation of pancreatic β-cells. This review aims to gather different studies to confirm the potential efficacy of nettle in metabolic syndrome.


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