Chemical Composition of Three Polysaccharides From Gynostemma Pentaphyllum and Their Antioxidant Activity in Skeletal Muscle of Exercised Mice

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012 Dec;22(6):479-85. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.22.6.479. Epub 2012 Aug 14.


Purpose: To investigate the effects of polysaccharide from Gynostemma pentaphyllum on antioxidant activity in skeletal muscle of mice exercised to exhaustion.

Methods: Three polysaccharide fractions were obtained from G. pentaphyllum polysaccharide (GPP) and termed GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a. Gas chromatography (GC) and infrared spectrum of the polysaccharides were determined. The fractions were orally administrated to mice once daily for 1 wk. The exercise time to exhaustion was assessed using a forced swim test of mice after a week. The glucose, creatine phosphokinase, and lactic dehydrogenase in serum; the activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase; and the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glycogen in muscle were determined.

Results: The results of GC demonstrated that GPP1-a, GPP2-b, and GPP3-a were composed of different monosaccharides with distinct molar ratios. Infrared spectrum showed that the main typicals of GPP1-a and GPP2-b were β-configuration and the main typical of GPP3-a was α-configuration. Among the 3 fractions of GPP, GPP1-a administration significantly prolonged exercise time to exhaustion of mice, increased glycogen level and some of antioxidant enzyme activities, and decreased MDA level in muscle.

Conclusions: The mechanism by which GPP1-a prolonged exercise time to exhaustion in mice may be associated with scavenging reactive oxygen species excessively produced and further increasing glycogen levels in skeletal muscle.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Outbred Strains
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Carbohydrate Conformation
  • Creatine Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Ethnobotany
  • Fatigue / blood
  • Fatigue / metabolism
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Gynostemma / chemistry*
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases / blood
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / administration & dosage
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / chemistry
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / metabolism
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / therapeutic use
  • Physical Exertion
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Swimming


  • Antioxidants
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Glycogen
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases
  • Creatine Kinase