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

Chun Kuang Shih, Chiao Ming Chen, Viola Varga, Liang Chen Shih, Peng Ru Chen, Shu Fang Lo, Lie Fen Shyur, Sing Chung Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


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-re-lated 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3609
JournalFood and Nutrition Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Antidiabetic
  • Antihyperglycemic
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Pancreatic islets
  • White sweet potato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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