Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench, F. tataricum Gaertner) groats and flour have been established globally as nutritional foods because of their high levels of proteins, polyphenols and minerals. In some regions, buckwheat herb is used as a functional food. In the present study, reports of in vitro studies, preclinical and clinical trials dealing with the effect of buckwheat and its metabolites were reviewed. There are numerous reports of potential health benefits of consuming buckwheat, which may be in the form of food, dietary supplements, home remedies or possibly pharmaceutical drugs; however, adverse effects, including those resulting from contamination, must be considered. There are reports of antioxidative activity of buckwheat, which contains high levels of rutin and quercetin. On the other hand, both cytotoxic and antigenotoxic effects have been shown. Reduction of hyperlipidaemia, reduction of blood pressure and improved weight regulation have been suggested. Consuming buckwheat may have a beneficial effect on diabetes, since lower postprandial blood glucose and insulin response have been reported. In addition, buckwheat metabolites, such as rutin, may have intrinsic protective effects in preserving insulin signalling. Rutin has also been suggested to have potential therapeutic applications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The literature indicates that buckwheat is safe to consume and may have various beneficial effects on human health.
Keywords: Adverse effects; Buckwheat; Flavonoids; Rutin; Tartary buckwheat.