Background: Glucose transport across the intestinal brush border membrane plays a key role in
metabolic regulation. Depending on the luminal glucose concentration, glucose is mainly transported by the sodium-
dependent glucose transporter (SGLT1) and the facilitated-transporter glucose transporter (GLUT2).
SGLT1 is apical membrane-constitutive and it is active at a low luminal glucose concentration, while at concentrations
higher than 50 mM, glucose is mainly transported by GLUT2 (recruited from the basolateral membrane).
Dietary phenolic compounds can modulate glucose homeostasis by decreasing the postprandial glucose response
through the inhibition of SGLT1 and GLUT2.
Methods: Phenolic inhibition of intestinal glucose transport has been examined using brush border membrane
vesicles from rats, pigs or rabbits, Xenopus oocytes and more recently Caco-2 cells, which are the most promising
for harmonizing in vitro experiments.
Results: Phenolic concentrations above 100 µM has been proved to successfully inhibit the glucose transport.
Generally, the aglycones quercetin, myricetin, fisetin or apigenin have been reported to strongly inhibit GLUT2,
while quercetin-3-O-glycoside has been demonstrated to be more effective in SGLT1. Additionally, epigallocatechin
as well as epicatechin and epigallocatechin gallates were observed to be inhibited on both SGLT1 and
Conclusion: Although, valuable information regarding the phenolic glucose transport inhibition is known, however,
there are some disagreements about which flavonoid glycosides and aglycones exert significant inhibition,
and also the inhibition of phenolic acids remains unclear. This review aims to collect, compare and discuss the
available information and controversies about the phenolic inhibition of glucose transporters. A detailed discussion
on the physicochemical mechanisms involved in phenolics-glucose transporters interactions is also included.