Cranberry compounds show potential for blood sugar management strategies


- Last updated on GMT

Cranberry compounds show potential for blood sugar management strategies

Related tags Starch Blood sugar Carbohydrate

Tannin compounds from cranberries and pomegranate may slow the digestion of starch and offer specific dietary approaches to control blood sugar levels, suggests a new study.

Extracts from cranberry in particular were associated with significant inhibition of the starch digesting enzymes alpha-amylase and glucoamylase, with pomegranate and grape tannins also showing good inhibitory effects, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​.

 “Possible practical applications of these results stem from the finding that condensed tannins from selected plants inhibit alpha-amylase and glucoamylase activity in vitro, albeit to different degrees, thus slowing digestion of starch,”​ wrote researchers from the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC), James Madison University, Rutgers University, and Ohio State University.

“This inhibitory effectiveness suggests the likelihood of specific dietary approaches for modulating digestion rates in vivo and thus assisting in control of blood glucose levels.”

Glycemic control

One approach to controlling blood sugar is to inhibit the action of specific enzymes such as alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, which are responsible for carbohydrate digestion.

However, current glucosidase inhibitors, such as acarbose and miglitol, are said to produce diarrhea and other intestinal disturbances.

“Slowed starch digestion can theoretically increase satiety by modulating glucose ‘spiking’ and depletion that occurs after carbohydrate-rich meals,” ​explained the researchers, led by NSRDEC’s Ann Barrett.

Study details

Barrett and her co-workers tested tannins from pomegranate, cranberry, grape, and cocoa on their ability to bind to the digestive enzymes alpha-amylase and glucoamylase.

The lab tests showed that the tannins inhibited the enzymes by different amounts. For alpha-amylase, the order of inhibiting activity was cranberry > grape > pomegranate > cocoa.

Regarding glucoamylase, cranberry, cocoa and grape tannins were all able to inhibit its activity to varying degrees.

“In general, larger and more complex tannins, such as those in pomegranate and cranberry, more effectively inhibited the enzymes than did less polymerized cocoa tannins,” ​explained Barrett and her co-workers.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/jf304876g
“Inhibition of alpha-Amylase and Glucoamylase by Tannins Extracted from Cocoa, Pomegranates, Cranberries, and Grapes”
Authors: A. Barrett, T. Ndou , C.A. Hughey , C.Straut , A. Howell , Z. Dai, G. Kaletunc

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Dynamic Duo - More Power, Less Fatigue

Dynamic Duo - More Power, Less Fatigue

Content provided by Enovate Biolife LLC | 27-Jun-2024 | White Paper

Better physical performance & vitality have deep connections to muscular as well as cardio-respiratory health.

Nextida: Precision where it matters

Nextida: Precision where it matters

Content provided by Rousselot | 01-Jun-2024 | Product Brochure

NEXTIDA™ is an innovative platform of specific collagen peptide compositions with new targeted health benefits. Built and backed by science, Nextida stands...

Sweetening solution for active nutrition

Sweetening solution for active nutrition

Content provided by ADM | 19-Feb-2024 | Case Study

When you add GrainSweet® Liquid Maltodextrin to your active nutrition applications, you get the production efficiencies, clean labels, and clean tastes...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more