[Inhibitory action of berberine on glucose absorption]

Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2003 Dec;38(12):911-4.
[Article in Chinese]


Aim: To study the absorption characteristics of berberine and its influence on glucose absorption.

Methods: Rat recirculating perfusion model was used to study berberine absorption characteristics and Caco-2 cell model was used to explore the influence of berberine on disaccharidase, using HPLC to assay the appearance of glucose to indicate enzyme activities.

Results: Berberine was found to be hardly absorbed in the intestine (less than 5% in 2.5 h). However, sucrase and maltase activities were found to be inhibited by berberine, its ID50 to sucrase is 1.830 mg.L-1, and showed no dose dependent influence on maltase activity. Berberine also showed influence on glucose absorption. However, this effect is not significant.

Conclusion: Berberine may act as an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, which is its main mechanism in diabetes treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Berberine / pharmacokinetics
  • Berberine / pharmacology*
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Glucose / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Maltose / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sucrase / metabolism


  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Berberine
  • Maltose
  • Sucrase
  • Glucose