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J Med Food. 2013 Jan;16(1):88-93. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0004. Epub 2012 Dec 10.

Aqueous extracts of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.) varieties inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities in vitro.

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Department of Biochemisry, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.


This study sought to investigate the inhibitory effect of aqueous extracts of two varieties (red and white) of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle) calyces on carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase), with the aim of providing the possible mechanism for their antidiabetes properties. Aqueous extracts were prepared (1:100 w/v) and the supernatant used for the analysis. The extracts caused inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities in vitro.The IC(50) revealed that the red variety (25.2 μg/mL) exhibited higher α-glucosidase inhibitory activity than the white variety (47.4 μg/mL), while the white variety (90.5 μg/mL) exhibited higher α-amylase inhibitory activity than the red variety (187.9 μg/mL). However, the α-glucosidase inhibitory activities of both calyces were higher than that of their α-amylase. In addition, the red variety possessed higher antioxidant capacity as exemplified by the (•)OH scavenging abilities, Fe(2+) chelating ability, and inhibition of Fe(2+)-induced pancreatic lipid peroxidation in vitro. The enzyme inhibitory activities and antioxidant properties of the roselle extracts agreed with their phenolic content. Hence, inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase, coupled with strong antioxidant properties could be the possible underlying mechanism for the antidiabetes properties of H. sabdariffa calyces; however, the red variety appeared to be more potent.

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