Anti-inflammatory activity of saponins from quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) seeds in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages cells

J Food Sci. 2014 May;79(5):H1018-23. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.12425. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is a pseudocereal from South Americas that has received increased interest around the world because it is a good source of different nutrients and rich in saponins. However, the saponins in quinoa seeds planted in China were poorly known. We obtained 4 quinoa saponin fractions, Q30, Q50, Q70, and Q90, and 11 saponins were determined by HPLC-MS. Q50 possessed 8 individual saponins and had the highest content of saponins. We further evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity on RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells of the 4 fractions. The 4 fractions not only dose-dependently decreased the production of inflammatory mediators NO but also inhibited the release of inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 in lipopolysaccharide-induced RAW264.7 cells. These results suggest that quinoa saponins may be used as functional food components for prevention and treatment of inflammation.

Practical application: Our findings demonstrate that saponins from the quinoa have the potential to anti-inflammation by suppressing the release of inflammatory cytokines.

Keywords: LPS; anti-inflammation; quinoa; saponins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / analysis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chenopodium quinoa / chemistry*
  • China
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Functional Food
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Saponins / analysis
  • Saponins / pharmacology
  • Saponins / therapeutic use*
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Saponins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide