Effect of ethanol extract of dried Chinese yam (Dioscorea batatas) flour containing dioscin on gastrointestinal function in rat model

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Abstract

In this study, a 40% ethanol extract of Chinese yam flour (Dioscoreae rhizoma), containing 177±58 μg/mL of dioscin, was tested in order to evaluate its pharmacological effects on the gastrointestinal tracts of Sprague-Dawley rats. Via the ingestion of the Chinese yam extract, the secretion of gastric acid was suppressed in the rats, and gastrointestinal motility increased by as much as 10%. The fecal quantity of rats fed on the Chinese yam extract also increased, by more than 40% as compared with that of the controls. The Chinese yam extract was found not to affect the growth of normal intestinal bacteria. However, a great deal of lactose-fermenting bacteria was observed in the fecal samples of rats fed for 6 weeks on 2% Chinese yam extract. This finding would appear to suggest that Chinese yam extract not only induces an improvement in digestive capability, but also affects the conversion of some intestinal flora to helpful bacteria. Our serochemical analyses indicated that serum glucose, neutral lipid, and total cholesterol levels were reduced to some degree by long-term feeding on Chinese yam extract. This finding bolsters the notion that Chinese yam extract may prove helpful as a digestion-aiding agent for patients suffering from hyperglycemia or hyperlipidemia.

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