Food chemistry

The α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects of Irish seaweed extracts.

PMID 23870944


To date, numerous studies have reported on the antidiabetic properties of various plant extracts through inhibition of carbohydrate-hydrolysing enzymes. The objective of this research was to evaluate extracts of seaweeds for α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects. Cold water and ethanol extracts of 15 seaweeds were initially screened and from this, five brown seaweed species were chosen. The cold water and ethanol extracts of Ascophyllum nodosum had the strongest α-amylase inhibitory effect with IC50 values of 53.6 and 44.7 μg/ml, respectively. Moreover, the extracts of Fucus vesiculosus Linnaeus were found to be potent inhibitors of α-glucosidase with IC50 values of 0.32 and 0.49 μg/ml. The observed effects were associated with the phenolic content and antioxidant activity of the extracts, and the concentrations used were below cytotoxic levels. Overall, our findings suggest that brown seaweed extracts may limit the release of simple sugars from the gut and thereby alleviate postprandial hyperglycaemia.