High glycaemic sugars result in blood-glucose spikes, while large doses of post-prandial fructose inundate the liver, causing an imbalance in energy metabolism, both leading to increased risk of metabolic malfunction and type 2 diabetes. Acarbose, used for diabetes management, reduces post-prandial hyperglycaemia by delaying carbohydrate digestion.Methods and results
Chamomile and green teas both inhibited digestive enzymes (α-amylase and maltase) related to intestinal sugar release, as already established for acarbose. However, acarbose had no effect on uptake of sugars using both differentiated human Caco-2 cell monolayers and Xenopus oocytes expressing human glucose transporter-2 (GLUT2) and GLUT5. Both teas effectively inhibited transport of fructose and glucose through GLUT2 inhibition, while chamomile tea also inhibited GLUT5. Long term incubation of Caco-2/TC7 cells with chamomile tea for 16 h or 4 days did not enhance the observed effects, indicating that inhibition is acute. Sucrase activity was directly inhibited by green tea and acarbose, but not chamomile.Conclusion
These findings show that chamomile and green teas are potential tools to manage absorption and metabolism of sugars with efficacy against high sugar bolus stress inflicted, for example, by high fructose syrups, where the drug acarbose would be ineffective.