Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for nearly 70% of all deaths. Several factors such as unhealthy lifestyles, physical inactivity, exposure to UV-light, harmful use of alcohol, among others, might cause diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. The current conventional pharmacological approach of treatment for these diseases is often costly, which represents an economic burden for most people, mainly from the low- and middle-income countries, who cannot always afford to buy medication. Besides, with or without medical approval and surveillance, people often turn to incorporate preparations from local medicinal plants when they are already under prescribed medication for their particular ailments. On the other hand, medicinal plants contain a rich source of phytochemicals such as alkaloids, terpenes, and polyphenols, which are potential biopharmaceutical agents against several noncommunicable diseases. Several studies have been conducted to isolate, identify and evaluate such compounds with promising results. In this book, we comprehensively review the information that shows the potential of phytochemicals from selected Mexican medicinal plants against noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and the metabolic syndrome. This work also summarizes the toxicological studies and risks of the use of medicinal plants as well as perspectives in the future use of phytochemicals as biopharmaceutical agents.
(Imprint: Nova Medicine and Health)