, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 1323-1332

Stimulatory effects of tannins and cholic acid on tryptic hydrolysis of proteins: Ecological implications

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Abstract

The biochemical basis for considering tannins as digestion inhibitors has been reexamined. Both stimulatory and inhibitory effects of tannins on tryptic hydrolysis are reported. We show how stimulation may result from tannin-induced structural changes in the substrate protein, effectively denaturing it. The surfactant and bile constituent cholic acid also produced similar stimulatory effects. These results have considerable implications for normal digestive physiology as well as for the impact of tannins on argicultural and natural herbivore populations.