White sweet potato ameliorates hyperglycemia and regenerates pancreatic islets in diabetic mice

  • Chun-Kuang Shih School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2545-911X
  • Chiao-Ming Chen Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Nutraceutical Biotechnology, Shih Chien University
  • Viola Varga School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University
  • Liang-Chen Shih School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University
  • Peng-Ru Chen Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Nutraceutical Biotechnology, Shih Chien University
  • Shu-Fang Lo Department of Agronomy, Chiayi Agricultural Experiment Station, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
  • Lie-Fen Shyur Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, Academia Sinica
  • Sing-Chung Li School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4244-7911
Keywords: white sweet potato; antidiabetic; anti-hyperglycemic; pancreatic islets; insulin sensitivity


Background: White sweet potato (WSP) has many potential beneficial effects on metabolic control and on diabetes- related insulin resistance. The antihyperglycemic effects of Tainung No. 10 (TNG10), a variety of WSP in Taiwan, warrant investigation.

Objective: To investigate the antidiabetic activity of WSP (Ipomoea batatas L. TNG10) and the mechanisms for interventions using whole leaves or tubers of WSP in diabetic mice.

Design: Mice were co-administered with streptozotocin and nicotinamide to induce diabetes and then treated with an experimental diet including either 10% WSP tuber (10%-T) and 30% WSP tuber (30%-T) or 0.5% WSP leaf (0.5%-L) and 5% WSP leaf (5%-L). After 8 weeks’ treatment, their plasma glycemic parameters, lipid profiles, and inflammatory marker were analyzed. Their pancreases were removed for histopathologic image analysis; proteins were also extracted from their muscles for phosphoinositide 3-kinase pathway analysis.

Results: The 30%-T or 5%-L mice had lower plasma glucose, insulin, glucose area under the curve (AUC), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase, triglyceride, and tumor necrosis factor alpha levels. In all diabetic mice, their Langerhans’s area was reduced by 60%; however, after 30% WSP-T or 5% WSP-L diets, the mice demonstrated significant restoration of the Langerhans’s areas (approximately 30%). Only in 5%-L mice, slightly increased expression of insulin-signaling pathway-related proteins, phosphorylated insulin receptor and protein kinase B and membrane glucose transporter 4 was noted.

Conclusions: WSP has antihyperglycemic effects by inducing pancreatic islet regeneration and insulin resistance amelioration. Therefore, WSP has potential applications in dietary diabetes management.


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How to Cite
Shih C.-K., Chen C.-M., Varga V., Shih L.-C., Chen P.-R., Lo S.-F., Shyur L.-F., & Li S.-C. (2020). White sweet potato ameliorates hyperglycemia and regenerates pancreatic islets in diabetic mice. Food & Nutrition Research, 64. https://doi.org/10.29219/fnr.v64.3609
Original Articles