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J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2012;15(1):141-83.

α-Amylase inhibitors: a review of raw material and isolated compounds from plant source.

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  • 1Departament of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil.


Inhibition of α-amylase, enzyme that plays a role in digestion of starch and glycogen, is considered a strategy for the treatment of disorders in carbohydrate uptake, such as diabetes and obesity, as well as, dental caries and periodontal diseases. Plants are an important source of chemical constituents with potential for inhibition of α-amylase and can be used as therapeutic or functional food sources. A review about crude extracts and isolated compounds from plant source that have been tested for α-amylase inhibitory activity has been done. The analysis of the results shows a variety of crude extracts that present α-amylase inhibitory activity and some of them had relevant activity when compared with controls used in the studies. Amongst the phyto-constituents that have been investigated, flavonoids are one of them that demonstrated the highest inhibitory activities with the potential of inhibition related to number of hydroxyl groups in the molecule of the compound. Several phyto-constituents and plant species as α-amylase inhibitors are being reported in this article. Majority of studies have focused on the anti-amylase phenolic compounds.

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