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In vitro investigation of the potential health benefits of wild Mediterranean dietary plants as anti-obesity agents with α-amylase and pancreatic lipase inhibitory activities




Inhibition of digestive enzymes is one of the most widely studied mechanisms used to determine the potential efficacy of natural products as anti-obesity agents. In vitro studies reported here were performed to evaluate the inhibitory activity of formulations of edible plants from Italy on amylase and lipase by monitoring the hydrolysis of nitrophenyl caprilate and the hydrolysis of glycoside bonds in digestible carbohydrate foods.


The formulation obtained from Capparis sicula exhibited the strongest inhibitory effect on pancreatic lipase (IC50 = 0.53 mg mL−1) while the Borago officinalis formulation exhibited the strongest inhibitory effect on α-amylase (IC50 = 31.61 µg mL−1). In order to characterise the extracts, high-performance thin-layer chromatography analysis of the formulations was performed, revealing the predominance of (±)-catechin in Mentha aquatica formulation, rutin in C. sicula, and caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid in Echium vulgare.


The results obtained indicated that the extracts of C. sicula and B. officinalis could be good candidates for further studies to isolate pancreatic lipase and α-amylase inhibitors, respectively. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry

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