Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon), originating from South America, has become popular in Japan and in New Zealand for its tubers which contain β-1,2-oligofructans as the main saccharides. The plant is also successfully cultivated in Central Europe in the Czech Republic in particular. Its aerial part is used in Japan and in Brazil as a component in medicinal teas; while aqueous leaf extracts have been studied for their hypoglycemic activity in normal and diabetic rats. We have already demonstrated the high content of phenolic compounds in yacon leaf extracts and their in vitro antioxidant activity. In this paper, we present the effects of two organic fractions and two aqueous extracts from the leaves of S. sonchifolius on rat hepatocyte viability, on oxidative damage induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BH) and allyl alcohol (AA), and on glucose metabolism and their insulin-like effect on the expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) mRNA. All the extracts tested exhibited strong protective effect against oxidative damage to rat hepatocyte primary cultures in concentrations ranging from 1 to 1000 μg/ml, reduced hepatic glucose production via gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis at 1000 μg/ml. Moreover, the effects of the organic fractions (200 and 250 μg/ml) and to a lesser extent, the tea infusion (500 μg/ml) on rat CYP2B and CYP2E mRNA expression, were comparable to those observed with insulin. The combination of radical scavenging, cytoprotective and anti-hyperglycemic activity predetermine S. sonchifolius leaves for use in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases involving oxidative stress, particularly diabetes.
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Valentová, K., Moncion, A., de Waziers, I. et al. The effect of Smallanthus sonchifolius leaf extracts on rat hepatic metabolism. Cell Biol Toxicol 20, 109–120 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CBTO.0000027931.88957.80
- glucose metabolism
- insulin-like effect
- in vitro