Inhibition of α-glucosidase and glucose intestinal absorption byThymelaea hirsutafractions

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Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl. (Thymelaeaceae) is a medicinal plant used in Morocco to treat diabetes. In previous studies T. hirsuta has shown a potent antihyperglycemic effect. Our aim was to study the effect of the plant on α-glucosidase inhibition and intestinal glucose absorption.


Five fractions of T. hirsuta were tested, in vitro, in vivo and, in situ, to elucidate the inhibition of α-glucosidase and intestinal glucose uptake.


The fractions induced, in vitro, a significant inhibition of α-glucosidase. The ethyl acetate fraction (EATh) had high activity and its inhibition mode was non-competitive. The EATh at 50 and 100 mg/kg doses, decreased significantly, in vivo, the postprandial hyperglycemia after sucrose loading in normal and diabetic mice. Moreover, 50 mg/kg of EATh significantly decreased intestinal glucose uptake, in situ, in rats.


The antihyperglycemic effect of T. hirsuta can be explained, in part, by the inhibition of intestinal α-glucosidase and intestinal glucose absorption.

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