In a study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, researchers from India evaluated the seeds of Musa balbisiana Colla. or wild banana – a species native to South Asia – for anti-diabetic potential. They also isolated an active compound called apiforol in the seed extracts, which showed potential as an alpha-glucosidase and glycation inhibitor.
Phytochemicals were extracted from banana seeds using different solvents.
The anti-diabetic activity of these chemicals were evaluated based on their ability to inhibit enzymes that break down carbohydrates, prevent glycation, and improve glucose uptake in L6 myoblasts.
Acetone proved to be the most effective extraction solvent; the acetone extract inhibited glycation as well as alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase activity better than the other extracts.
Apiforol, a phytochemical isolated only from the acetone extract, showed promise as an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor and a glycation inhibitor; it also improved glucose uptake in vitro.
Molecular docking studies showed the efficient binding of apiforol in the active sites of alpha-glucosidase, which enabled inhibition of enzyme activity.
The results of this study suggested that M. balbisiana may be a good addition to an anti-diabetic diet as it improved glucose uptake and exhibited alpha-glucosidase- and glycation-inhibiting activities.
Gopalan G, Prabha B, Joe A, Reshmitha TR, Sherin DR, Abraham B, Sabu M, Manojkumar TK, Radhakrishnan KV, Nisha P. SCREENING OF MUSA BALBISIANA COLLA. SEEDS FOR ANTIDIABETIC PROPERTIES AND ISOLATION OF APIFOROL, A POTENTIAL LEAD, WITH ANTIDIABETIC ACTIVITY. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 04 November 2018;99(05):2521-2529. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.9462