Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Category : NEWS, INGREDIENTS, INNOVATION, CLINICAL EVIDENCE | Author : experts | Comment : No Comments

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This in vivo study on rats investigated the effects of dietary Japanese yam (Dioscorea japonica Thunb.) on lipid metabolism.

Male Wistar rats were fed a high-cholesterol diet for 6 weeks and then supplemented with 26% of Japanese yam or 0.5% of its constituent diosgenin for a further 4 weeks of high-cholesterol feeding (C6-J4 and C6-D4 groups, respectively).

In the C6-J4 group, body weight gains significantly decreased, but skeletal muscle fiber sizes in quadriceps significantly increased compared with the other groups. Furthermore, Japanese yam supplementation resulted in the reduction of triglyceride contents in their liver, quadriceps, and intra-abdominal visceral fat.

 Effects of yam or diosgenin on lipid accumulation in livers of high-cholesterol diet-fed rats

Figure 1 & 2: Effects of yam or diosgenin on lipid accumulation in livers of high-cholesterol diet-fed rats (1) Liver cholesterol contents are shown as mg per g of liver (2) Liver TG contents are presented as mg per g of liver Data are presented as means ± SE of 6 rats. Letters indicate significant differences between groups, p < 0.05.

Diosgenin supplementation resulted in an increase in the numbers of skeletal muscle fibers and decrease in the fat accumulations in liver and of the lipid contents in quadriceps.

These results suggest that Japanese yam is more effective than diosgenin in reducing fat accumulation and improving cholesterol metabolism during chronic consumption of a high-cholesterol diet.


Kusano Y, Tsujihara N, Masui H, Kozai H, Takeuchi W. Consumption of Japanese Yam Improves Lipid Metabolism in High-Cholesterol Diet-Fed Rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2016;62(5):350-360.

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