Supplements from Chinese yam found to inhibit colon inflammation

Researchers from Kyungpook National University and Gyeongsangbuk-do Forest Research Institute in South Korea report that Chinese yam (Dioscorea batatas) can be used to treat inflammation in the colon. In their study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, they looked at the effect of ethanol extracts of Chinese yam bark on inflammatory damage in colon epithelial cells and in an acute colitis mouse model.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a chronic inflammatory disease without a known cause, and chronic inflammation increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Drugs used to treat colitis cause side effects and have high relapse rates, so natural treatments are warranted.
  • For the current study, the researchers investigated whether Chinese yam bark extracts could treat colon inflammation in human colorectal epithelial cells and in mice with acute colitis.
  • Chinese yam is a perennial trailing plant used in traditional medicine for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Recent studies have shown that Chinese yam bark powder enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity and exhibited an anti-inflammatory effect in drug-induced liver injury or colorectal cancer in rats.
  • The treatment of Chinese yam bark extract reduced nitric oxide production, proinflammatory protein expression, and the level of reactive oxygen species in cells.
  • In addition, the Chinese yam bark extract reduced acute colitis in mice.
  • These results show that supplementation with Chinese yam bark extract could boost the antioxidant activities in colonic epithelial cells and reduce the inflammatory response in activated macrophages, treating acute colitis.

In conclusion, the findings of the study indicate that Chinese yam bark can be considered as a natural supplement for preventing inflammatory bowel disease.

To read more studies on the health benefits of Chinese yam, visit

Journal Reference:

Lim JS, Oh J, Byeon S, Lee JS, Kim J-S. PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF DIOSCOREA BATATAS PEEL EXTRACT AGAINST INTESTINAL INFLAMMATION. Journal of Medicinal Food. 12 December 2018; 21(12): 1204-1217. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2018.4187

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