CONDUCTED BY: Universitá degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
PUBLISHED ON: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Pomegranate extract was tested for its ability to inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity. Pomegranate extract strongly inhibited rat intestinal α-glucosidase in vitro whereas it was a weak inhibitor of porcine α-amylase.
The inhibitory activity was recovered in an ellagitannins-enriched fraction and punicalagin, punicalin, and ellagic acid were identified as α-glucosidase inhibitors (IC50 of 140.2, 191.4, and 380.9 μmol/L, respectively). Kinetic analysis suggested that the pomegranate extract and ellagitannins inhibited α-glucosidase activity in a mixed mode.
The inhibitory activity was demonstrated using an in vitro digestion system, mimicking the physiological gastro-intestinal condition, and potatoes as food rich in starch. Pre-incubation between ellagitannins and α-glucosidase increased the inhibitory activity, suggesting that they acted by binding to α-glucosidase.
During digestion punicalin and punicalagin concentration decreased. Despite this loss, the pomegranate extract retained high inhibitory activity. This study suggests that pomegranate ellagitannins may inhibit α-glucosidase activity in vitro possibly affecting in vivo starch digestion.