1. Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Physiology, Washington, D.C. 20057, USA
2. Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
3. Advocare International, Carrollton, TX 75006, USA
Acute oral consumption of various natural inhibitors of amylase (bean and hibiscus extracts) and sucrase (L-arabinose) reduce absorption of starch and sucrose respectively in rats and pigs measured by lessened appearance of circulating glucose levels. The present subchronic study was designed to determine whether these selected inhibitors of gastrointestinal starch and sucrose absorption (so-called “carb blockers”) remain effective with continued use and to assess their metabolic influences after prolonged intake. Sprague-Dawley rats were gavaged twice daily over nine weeks with either water or an equal volume of water containing a formula that included bean and hibiscus extracts and L-arabinose. To estimate CHO absorption, control and treated Sprague-Dawley rats were gavaged with either water alone or an equal volume of water containing glucose, rice starch, sucrose, or combined rice starch and sucrose. Circulating glucose was measured at timed intervals over four hours. The ability to decrease starch and sucrose absorption use. No toxic effects (hepatic, renal, hematologic) were evident. Blood chemistries revealed significantly lower circulating glucose levels and a trend toward decreased HbA1C in the nondiabetic rats receiving the natural formulation compared to control. Subchronic administration of enzyme inhibitors was also associated with many metabolic changes including lowered systolic blood pressure and altered fluid-electrolyte balance. We postulate that proper intake of natural amylase and sucrase inhibitors may be useful in the prevention and treatment of many chronic disorders associated with perturbations in glucose-insulin homeostasis secondary to the rapid absorption of refined CHO.
Keywords: starch blockers, bean and hibiscus extracts, sucrose blockers, L-arabinose, hibiscus extract