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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Serviceberry [Amerlanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex. M. Roem(Rosaceae)] leaf exhibits mammalian alpha glucosidase activity and suppresses postprandial glycemic response in a mouse model of diet induced obesity/hyperglycemia

Authors
item Zhang, Albert -
item Rimando, Agnes
item Fish, Wilbert -
item Mentreddy, Srinivasa -
item Mathews, Suresh -

Submitted to: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 29, 2012
Publication Date: July 14, 2012
Citation: Zhang, A., Rimando, A.M., Fish, W., Mentreddy, S.R., Mathews, S. 2012. Serviceberry [Amerlanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex. M. Roem(Rosaceae)] leaf exhibits mammalian alpha glucosidase activity and suppresses postprandial glycemic response in a mouse model of diet induced obesity/hyperglycemia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 143(2):481-487.

Interpretive Summary: Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), found in Browning, MT, has been traditionally used by American Indians for managing type 2 diabetes. We conducted studies to validate and identify potential antidiabetic mechanisms of serviceberry. Plant samples consisting of leaves, twigs, and leaves with berries were extracted and fractionated. Organic solvent and water fractions were tested for inhibition of an enzyme that hydrolyses carbohydrates to glucose. Cell studies demonstrated that leaf extracts of serviceberry are potent inhibitors of this enzyme. Furthermore, serviceberry extracts demonstrated significant inhibition of this enzyme in in an animal model of diet-induced obesity and hyperglycemia. The extracts also delayed the absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in significant lowering of blood glucose concentrations after meals. Thus, the mode of action of serviceberry extracts was similar to that of the antidiabetic drug Acarbose™. These findings validated traditional knowledge and suggest that serviceberry leaf extracts may offer a complementary approach in the treatment and management of diabetes.

Technical Abstract: Several plant-based remedies offer cost-effective management of diabetes, but few plant species adapted to North America have been validated for their antidiabetic properties. One such species is serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), found in Browning, MT, which has been traditionally used by the American Indians for managing type 2 diabetes. The objective of this study was to validate and identify potential antidiabetic mechanisms of serviceberry using in vitro and in vivo studies. Serviceberry plant samples consisting of leaves, twigs, and leaves with berries were extracted and fractionated. Ethyl acetate and water fractions were tested for inhibition of alpha-glucosidase activity. In vitro studies demonstrated that leaf extracts of serviceberry are potent inhibitors of mammalian intestinal alpha-glucosidase activity (EC 3.2.1.20). Furthermore, in an animal model of diet-induced obesity and hyperglycemia, serviceberry extracts demonstrated significant inhibition of intestinal alpha-glucosidase activity, and delayed the absorption of carbohydrates, resulting in significant lowering of post-prandial blood glucose concentrations. Thus, the mode of action of serviceberry extracts was similar to that of the antidiabetic drug Acarbose™. These findings validated traditional knowledge and suggest that serviceberry leaf extracts may offer a complementary approach in the treatment and management of diabetes.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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