In vitro influence of spices and spice-active principles on digestive enzymes of rat pancreas and small intestine

Nahrung. 2003 Dec;47(6):408-12. doi: 10.1002/food.200390091.


In vitro influence of 14 individual spices (curcumin, capsaicin, piperine, garlic, onion, ginger, mint, coriander, cumin, ajowan, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, and asafoetida) on the activities of digestive enzymes of rat pancreas and small intestine was examined by including them in the reaction mixture at two different concentrations. A majority of spices enhanced the activity of pancreatic lipase and amylase when they are directly in contact with the enzyme. It is inferred that this positive influence on the activity of enzymes may have a supplementary role in the overall digestive stimulant action of spices, besides causing an enhancement of the titres of digestive enzymes in pancreatic tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Chymotrypsin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / enzymology*
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / enzymology*
  • Pancrelipase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spices*


  • Pancrelipase
  • Amylases
  • Chymotrypsin