In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory activity of water soluble β-glucan from oat (Avena sativa) against various digestive enzymes such as α-glucosidase, sucrase, maltase and glucoamylase.
Inhibition of these enzymes involved in the absorption of disaccharide can significantly decrease the post-prandial increase of blood glucose level after a mixed carbohydrate diet. The β-glucan had the highest documented rate of small intestinal sucrase inhibitory activity (2.83 mg/mL, IC50) relevant for potentially managing post-prandial hyperglycemia.
Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of β-glucan on the level of post-prandial blood glucose in animal model.
The post-prandial blood glucose levels were tested two hours after sucrose/starch administration, with and without β- glucan (100, and 500 mg/kg-body weight). The maximum blood glucose levels (Cmax) of β-glucan administration group were decreased by about 23% (from 219.06±27.82 to 190.44±13.18, p<0.05) and 10% (from 182.44±13.77 to 165.64±10.59, p<0.01) in starch and sucrose loading test, respectively, when compared to control in pharmacodynamics study. The β -Glucan administration significantly lowered the mean, maximum, and minimum level of post-prandial blood glucose at 30 min after meal.
In view of the foregoing, it is felt that our findings suggest that β-glucan from oat serves to reduce post-prandial blood glucose rise secondary to slower absorption of glucose in the small intestine, via carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes inhibition.