Influence of dietary spices or their active principles on digestive enzymes of small intestinal mucosa in rats

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1996 Jan;47(1):55-9. doi: 10.3109/09637489609028561.


A few common spices or their active principles, were examined for their possible influence on digestive enzymes of intestinal mucosa in experimental rat. The animals were fed the following diets for 8 weeks: control, curcumin (0.5%), capsaicin (15 mg%), piperine (20 mg%), ginger (50 mg%), cumin (1.25%), fenugreek (2%), mustard (250 mg%) and asafoetida (250 mg%). Dietary curcumin, capsaicin, piperine and ginger prominantly enhanced intestinal lipase activity and also the disaccharidases sucrase and maltase. Dietary cumin, fenugreek, mustard and asafoetida brought about decreases in the levels of phosphatases and sucrase. The positive influences of a good number of spices on these terminal enzymes of digestive process could be an additional feature of species that are generally well recognized to stimulate digestion.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / analysis
  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology*
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / enzymology*
  • Lipase / analysis
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spices*
  • Sucrase / analysis
  • alpha-Glucosidases / analysis


  • Lipase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • Amylases
  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Sucrase