5-alpha-aldose inhibition Diabetic patients may accumulate intracellular quantities of the sugars sorbitol and dulcitol, because of an increase in the polyol pathway involving the enzyme 5-alpha-aldose. Oral baicalin and liquid extract of licorice (also rich in flavonoids) reduced the sorbitol levels in the red blood cells of diabetic rats (Lin et al 1980, Zhou & Zhang 1989).
Alpha-glucosidase inhibition Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors (e.g. acarbose) are a class of oral medicine for type 2 diabetes, which blocks the enzymes that digest starches in food. The result is a slower and lower rise in blood glucose throughout the day, especially immediately after meals. Methanol extracts of Scutellaria balcalensls, Rheum officinale and Paeonia suffruticosa showed potent inhibitory activity against rat intestinal sucrase. The active principles were identified as baicalein and methyl gallate (from the latter two plants). In addition to its activity against the rat enzyme, baicalein also inhibited human intestinal sucrase in vitro (Nishioka et al 1998).
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...