Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Yam (Dioscorea batatas Decne.) on Azoxymethane-induced Colonic Aberrant Crypt Foci in F344 Rats

Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2014 Jun;19(2):82-8. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2014.19.2.082.


Yam (Dioscorea batatas Decne.) has long been used as a health food and oriental folk medicine because of its nutritional fortification, tonic, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, and expectorant effects. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are known to be implicated in a range of diseases, may be important progenitors of carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulatory effect of yam on antioxidant status and inflammatory conditions during azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. We measured the formation of aberrant crypt foci (ACF), hemolysate antioxidant enzyme activities, colonic mucosal antioxidant enzyme gene expression, and colonic mucosal inflammatory mediator gene expression. The feeding of yam prior to carcinogenesis significantly inhibited AOM-induced colonic ACF formation. In yam-administered rats, erythrocyte levels of glutathione, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase were increased and colonic mucosal gene expression of Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), Mn-SOD, and GPx were up-regulated compared to the AOM group. Colonic mucosal gene expression of inflammatory mediators (i.e., nuclear factor kappaB, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-1beta) was suppressed by the yam-supplemented diet. These results suggest that yam could be very useful for the prevention of colon cancer, as they enhance the antioxidant defense system and modulate inflammatory mediators.

Keywords: antioxidant enzymes; azoxymethane; inflammatory mediators; yam (Dioscorea batatas Decne.).