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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(8):818-36. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.561379.

Advance in dietary polyphenols as α-glucosidases inhibitors: a review on structure-activity relationship aspect.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Shanghai Normal University, 100 Guilin Rd., Shanghai 200234, China.


The dietary polyphenols as α-glucosidases inhibitors have attracted great interest among researchers. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the research reports on the structure-activity relationship of dietary polyphenols inhibiting α-glucosidases. The molecular structures that influence the inhibition are the following: (1) The hydroxylation and galloylation of flavonoids including catechins improve the inhibitory activity. (2) The glycosylation of hyroxyl group and hydrogenation of the C2=C3 double bond on flavonoids weaken the inhibition. (3) However, cyaniding glycosides show higher inhibition against than cyanidin. Proanthocyanidins oligomers exhibit a stronger inhibitory activity than their polymers. (4) The hydroxylation on B ring and the glycosylation of stilbenes reduce the inhibitory activity. (5) Caffeoylquinic acids display strong inhibition against α-glucosidases. However, hydroxycinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and gallic acid hardly inhibited α-glucosidases. (6) The coupled galloyl structures attached to C-3 and C-6 of the 4C(1) glucose core of ellagitanin gave basic inhibitory activity. (7) The mono-glycosylation of chalcones slightly lowers the inhibition. However, the diglycosylation of chalcones significantly decreased the activity.

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