Introduction : Diabetes is a carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolic disorder syndrome. Symptoms of this disease include microvascular complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy and macrovascular complications such as coronary artery, peripheral vascular, and cerebrovascular diseases. Flavonoids, are polyphenolic compounds which are found in plants, vegetables and fruits containing the families of flavonols, flavones, total flavanols, anthocyanins, the first flavone-3, oligomeric and polymeric forms. These compounds have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-atherosclerotic, cardiotonic, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Methodology : In order to conduct this review study, Magiran and SID databases were searched for Persian published articles and Pubmed, Google scholars and Science Direct were searched for the English ones during 2000-2014.
Results : Several studies have shown that flavonoids can reduce blood glucose and increase insulin secretion. Moreover, consumption of products containing flavonoids on a daily basis can aid with diabetes treatment. Flavonoids, increasing intracellular vitamin C, can be influential in lowering capillary permeability and boosting the immune system, and in turn, treating diabetes. Oral consumption of flavonoids is one of the most effective ways of affecting pancreatic beta cells and treating diabetes. On the other hand, consumption of flavonoids, which have high antioxidant activities, can help with clearing out free radicals. In addition, flavonoids can modulate endothelial functions, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, nitric oxide production and expansion of blood vessels, inhibiting platelet hyperactivity, proliferation and angiogenesis and accordingly, protect body against cardiovascular diseases.
Conclusion : According to the findings of the reviewed articles, the flavonoids can inhibit oxidative stress and control diabetes.