Tannic acid is a glucoside (penta-m-digallolyl-glucose), which exhibits a wide variety of physiological functions. Around neutral pH, 0.4 mM tannic acid produced 84% inhibition of rat brush border sucrase activity, but 35-40% enzyme inhibition was observed in the rabbit intestine at 0.08 mM concentration. In the mice, 74-77% enzyme inhibition was observed at 0.05 mM concentration of tannic acid. The observed inhibition was reversible in rat intestine. Tannic acid (0.2 mM) also inhibited lactase (18% in adult and 71% in suckling animals), maltase (76%) and trehalase (88%) activities in rat intestine. pH versus activity curves showed that 0.2 mM tannic acid inhibited enzyme activity in rat by 91% at pH 5.5 which was reduced to 14% at pH 8.5 compared to the respective controls. In the rabbit 18-60% enzyme inhibition was noticed below pH 7.0, however at pH 8.5, it was of the order of 38%. Kinetic analysis revealed that tannic acid is a competitive inhibitor of rat brush border sucrase at pH 6.8. Effect of tannic acid together with various -SH group reacting reagents revealed that the enzyme inhibition is additive in nature, suggesting the distinct nature of binding sites on the enzyme for these compounds. The results suggest that tannic acid is a potent inhibitor of intestinal brush border disaccharidases, and could modulate the intestinal functions.