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Revista de Gastroenterología del Perú

Print version ISSN 1022-5129


ALVAREZ F, Pedro P. et al. Prebiotic Inulin/ Oligofructose in Yacón root (Smallanthus Sonchifolius), phytochemistry and standardization as basis for clinical and pre-clinical research. Rev. gastroenterol. Perú [online]. 2008, vol.28, n.1, pp.22-27. ISSN 1022-5129.

INTRODUCTION: Experiments have demonstrated that the association between inulin and oligofructose can prevent colitis by modifying the intestinal microflora by acting as a prebiotic. It has also been found that this association is naturally present in the roots of the Yacón root (Smallanthus sonchifolius) making phytochemical and standardization studies well worth pursuing. These studies could contribute to the safe use of improved strains of Yacón, to significant savings in health resources, and to promoting additional clinical and pre-clinical research. So far, studies have been made on organically cultivated Yacón in the coast, on varieties adapted from those cultivated in the Andes. The aim is to promote consumption of Yacón in the sectors of society that need it most.   OBJECTIVE: To determine the general chemical composition of the Yacón tuberous root cultivated in the coast by means of a phytochemical screening, as well as standardizing its inulin content in order to contribute knowledge on its conditions of use.   METHODS: The roots harvested in the Lima Botanical Garden of the National Health Institute were used to prepare aqueous extracts through decoction and juice for the phytochemical screening with conventional reagents. The aqueous extracts were standardized for inulin content by using a fructose standard method and a validated analytical technique. The samples were read in a TU-1810S Split Beam UV-VIS spectrophotometer.   RESULTS: The trials confirmed the presence of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, glycosides and carbohydrates. The standardization found values of 7,8% inulin in the hydrolyzed extract and of 7, 01% in the non-hydrolyzed extract. Conclusions: The extracts of the Yacón roots were screened and standardized Ander known cultivation conditions. The possibilities of its use are being considered due to its prebiotic properties. These properties are considered useful in treating certain types of colitis by stimulating the growth of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium microflora. Saving of health resources would be possible and further clinical and pre-clinical research would be encouraged.

Keywords : Prebiotics; Yacón; S. sonchifolius; Screening; Standardization; Inulin.

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