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J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Mar;26(2):165-70. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2013-0141.

Caffeic and chlorogenic acids inhibit key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes (in vitro): a comparative study.



Chlorogenic acid is a major phenolic compound that forms a substantial part of plant foods and is an ester of caffeic acid and quinic acid. However, the effect of the structures of both chlorogenic and caffeic acids on their antioxidant and antidiabetic potentials have not been fully understood. Thus, this study sought to investigate and compare the interaction of caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid with α-amylase and α-glucosidase (key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes) activities in vitro.


The inhibitory effect of the phenolic acids on α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities was evaluated. Thereafter, their antioxidant activities as typified by their 1,1-diphenyl-2 picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging ability and ferric reducing antioxidant properties were determined.


The results revealed that both phenolic acids inhibited α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities in a dose-dependent manner (2-8 μg/mL). However, caffeic acid had a significantly (p<0.05) higher inhibitory effect on α-amylase [IC50 (concentration of sample causing 50% enzyme inhibition)=3.68 μg/mL] and α-glucosidase (IC50=4.98 μg/mL) activities than chlorogenic acid (α-amylase IC50=9.10 μg/mL and α-glucosidase IC50=9.24 μg/mL). Furthermore, both phenolic acids exhibited high antioxidant properties, with caffeic acid showing higher effects.


The esterification of caffeic acid with quinic acid, producing chlorogenic acid, reduces their ability to inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities. Thus, the inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities by the phenolic acids could be part of the possible mechanism by which the phenolic acids exert their antidiabetic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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