Flavonoids for controlling starch digestion: Structural requirements for inhibiting human α-amylase

Elena Lo Piparo, Holger Scheib, Nathalie Frei, Gary Williamson, Martin Grigorov, Chieh Jason Chou

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357 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we investigated the structural requirements for inhibition of human salivary α-amylase by flavonoids. Four flavonols and three flavones, out of the 19 flavonoids tested, exhibited IC50 values less than 100 μM against human salivary α-amylase activity. Structure-activity relationships of these inhibitors by computational ligand docking showed that the inhibitory activity of flavonols and flavones depends on (i) hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl groups of the polyphenol ligands and the catalytic residues of the binding site and (ii) formation of a conjugated π-system that stabilizes the interaction with the active site. Our findings show that certain naturally occurring flavonoids act as inhibitors of human α-amylase, which makes them promising candidates for controlling the digestion of starch and postprandial glycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3555-3561
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

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