Redox imbalance stress in diabetes mellitus: Role of the polyol pathway

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In diabetes mellitus, the polyol pathway is highly active and consumes approximately 30% glucose in the body. This pathway contains 2 reactions catalyzed by aldose reductase (AR) and sorbitol dehydrogenase, respectively. AR reduces glucose to sorbitol at the expense of NADPH, while sorbitol dehydrogenase converts sorbitol to fructose at the expense of NAD+, leading to NADH production. Consumption of NADPH, accumulation of sorbitol, and generation of fructose and NADH have all been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. In this review, the roles of this pathway in NADH/NAD+ redox imbalance stress and oxidative stress in diabetes are highlighted. A potential intervention using nicotinamide riboside to restore redox balance as an approach to fighting diabetes is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Models and Experimental Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • diabetes mellitus
  • fructose
  • oxidative stress
  • polyol pathway
  • redox imbalance stress


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