Inhibition of key digestive enzymes by cocoa extracts and procyanidins

Yeyi Gu, William J. Hurst, David A. Stuart, Joshua D. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


This study determined the in vitro inhibitory effects of cocoa extracts and procyanidins against pancreatic a-amylase (PA), pancreatic lipase (PL), and secreted phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and characterized the kinetics of such inhibition. Lavado, regular, and Dutch-processed cocoa extracts as well as cocoa procyanidins (degree of polymerization (DP) = 2-10) were examined. Cocoa extracts and procyanidins dose-dependently inhibited PA, PL, and PLA2. Lavado cocoa extract was the most potent inhibitor (IC 50 = 8.5-47μg/mL). An inverse correlation between log IC 50 and DP (R2 < 0.93) was observed. Kinetic analysis suggested that regular cocoa extract, the pentamer, and decamer inhibited PL activity in a mixed mode. The pentamer and decamer noncompetitively inhibited PLA2 activity, whereas regular cocoa extract inhibited PLA 2 competitively. This study demonstrates that cocoa polyphenols can inhibit digestive enzymes in vitro and may, in conjunction with a low-calorie diet, play a role in body weight management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5305-5311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 25 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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