The effects of stevioside and steviol (a product of enzymatic hydrolysis of stevioside) on intestinal glucose absorption were examined in the hamster jejunum in vitro. By using the jejunal rings technique, we found that stevioside at a high dose of 5 mM had no inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. In contrast, glucose absorption was inhibited 43% by 1 mM steviol. The inhibition of glucose absorption by steviol was related to steviol concentration and incubation time. The inhibitory effect of steviol compared to phlorizin and ouabain was also investigated. Steviol, which caused a decrease in glucose accumulation in the intestinal ring tissues, possibly acts on the brush border membrane as does phlorizin. Furthermore, it was also found that steviol altered the morphology of the intestinal absorptive cells. These results suggest that the possible site of inhibitory action of steviol might be on the mucosal side and/or at the intracellular organelles of intestinal absorptive cells.