Are the effects of α-glucosidase inhibitors on cardiovascular events related to elevated levels of hydrogen gas in the gastrointestinal tract?

Yoshihiko Suzuki, Motoaki Sano, Kentaro Hayashida, Ikuroh Ohsawa, Shigeo Ohta, Keiichi Fukuda

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The major side-effect of treatment with α-glucosidase inhibitors, flatulence, occurs when undigested carbohydrates are fermented by colonic bacteria, resulting in gas formation. We propose that the cardiovascular benefits of α-glucosidase inhibitors are partly attributable to their ability to neutralise oxidative stress via increased production of H2 in the gastrointestinal tract. Acarbose, which is an α-glucosidase inhibitor, markedly increased H2 production, with a weaker effect on methane production. Our hypothesis is based on our recent discovery that H2 acts as a unique antioxidant, and that when inhaled or taken orally as H2-dissolved water it ameliorates ischaemia-reperfusion injury and atherosclerosis development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2159
Number of pages3
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul 7



  • Antioxidant
  • Hydrogen gas
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • α-Glucosidase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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