The use of complex polysaccharides in the management of metabolic diseases: the case of Solanum lycocarpum fruits.

In the Brazilian cerrado, a preparation obtained from the fruits of Solanum lycocarpum St.-Hil. (Solanaceae), popularly known as 'fruta-de-lobo' (wolf-fruit), have been widely employed for diabetes management, obesity and to decrease cholesterol levels. The medicinal preparation consists of the green fruits which are ground in aqueous solution and filtered. The white 'gum' deposited is decanted and slowly dried providing a powder which is commercialized in capsules with the name of 'polvilho-de-lobeira'. Through phytochemical analysis of this phytomedicine and the fruit of S. lycocarpum we found polysaccharides as the main component. Some polysaccharides slow gastric emptying and act on the endocrinous system affecting the liberation of gastrointestinal hormones, lowering blood glucose levels. The hypocholesterolemic activity could be due to the increased fecal bile acid excretion as well as to the action of the short-chain fatty acids, coming from fermentation, on the synthesis of delta-aminolevulinate and by the increase of the cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase synthesis

Solanum lycocarpum


  • Solanaceae

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