• fatty acids;
  • oleic acid;
  • linoleic acid;
  • α-amylase;
  • α-glucosidase;
  • type 2 diabetes

This study aimed to examine the inhibitory mechanisms of fatty acids on key enzymes related to type 2 diabetes, and their effects on starch digestion rate. Among the 10 fatty acids analyzed, oleic acid showed the strongest anti-α-glucosidase activity, followed by linoleic acid, and their activities were more potent than acarbose, but they possessed a weaker anti-α-amylase activity. Kinetic assays demonstrated that oleic acid and linoleic acid were competitive inhibitors, and their interactions with α-glucosidase exhibited a character of static quenching, which indicates that they would bind to α-glucosidase to form a complex. However, they had little effects on the secondary structures of α-glucosidase. In vitro study showed that oleic acid and linoleic acid were more potent than acarbose in inhibiting starch digestion. Taken together, these results conclude that oleic acid and linoleic acid possess potent inhibitory effects on α-glucosidase activity. © 2013 BioFactors, 39(4):415–421, 2013