Evaluation of the Estrogenic Activity of Pueraria (Kudzu) Flower Extract and Its Major Isoflavones Using ER-Binding and Uterotrophic Bioassays

DOI: 10.4236/pp.2013.42036   PDF   HTML   XML   3,696 Downloads   6,034 Views   Citations


Pueraria flower extract (PFE) is a hot water extract of the Kudzu flower (Pueraria thomsonii). Tea made from dried Kudzu flower is widely used inChina, and PFE is utilized as a nutritional supplement inJapan. PFE contains unique isoflavones such as 6-hydroxygenistein 6,7-di-O-glucoside (6HGDG), tectorigenin 7-O-xylosylglucoside (TGXG), and tectoridin. 6HGDG is known to be metabolized into 6-hydroxygenistein, and TGXG and tectoridin are known to be metabolized into tectorigenin in the digestive tract. Isoflavones typically mimic the effects β-estradiol has on estrogen receptors (ERs) and may influence the female genital system in the case of excessive intake. As a result, the upper limit of safe daily consumption of soy isoflavones has been enforced inJapan. In the present study, ER-binding assays were performed using the EnBio estrogen receptor/cofactor assay system to compare the estrogenic activity of 6-hydroxygenistein and tectorigenin to that of the soy isoflavone genistein. In addition, uterotrophic bioassays were performed to investigate the estrogenic effects of PFE in vivo. The ER-binding assays revealed that the ER-binding affinities of 6-hydroxygenistein and tectorigenin were approximately 0.01 - 0.04 that of genistein. Soy isoflavone products also induced an increase in uterine wet and blotted weight at doses of 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg, whereas PFE did not cause adverse estrogenic effects, even at a dose of 1000 mg/kg. Based on these results, PFE does not appear to contain compounds with strong estrogenic activity or cause adverse estrogenic effects in vivo. Importantly, the results of this study confirm the safety of PFE as a food supplement.

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T. Kamiya, A. Takano, Y. Kido, Y. Matsuzuka, M. Sameshima-Kamiya, M. Tsubata, M. Ikeguchi, K. Takagaki and J. Kinjo, "Evaluation of the Estrogenic Activity of Pueraria (Kudzu) Flower Extract and Its Major Isoflavones Using ER-Binding and Uterotrophic Bioassays," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 255-260. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.42036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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