Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.46(5) > 1081306

J Nutr Health. 2013 Oct;46(5):401-409. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2013.
© 2013 The Korean Nutrition Society
Study on antioxidative, antidiabetic and antiobesity activity of solvent fractions of smilax china L. leaf extract
Yun Hwan Kang,1 Young-Sil Lee,3 Kyoung Kon Kim,2 Dae Jung Kim,1 Tae Woo Kim,1 and Myeon Choe1,2
1Well-being Bioproducts RIC, Kangwon National University, Gangwon 200-701, Korea.
2Department of Bio-Health Technology, Kangwon National University, Gangwon 200-701, Korea.
3Center for Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical Materials, Myongji University, Yongin 449-728, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. (Email: )
Received September 06, 2013; Revised October 06, 2013; Accepted October 17, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Smilax china L., a native plant found in Asian countries, has several medicinal properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. Although the root of the plant is commonly used as traditional herbal medicine in Korea and China, the medicinal properties of the leaves have not gained the same attention. In this study, we analyzed the antioxidant activity, α-glucosidase inhibitory effect and lipid accumulation inhibition effect of Smilax china L. leaf water extract (SCLE) and its solvent fractions. SCLE was fractionated by using a series of organic solvents, including ethylacetate (EA) and n-butanol (BuOH). The EA fraction had the highest total polyphenol content (440.20 ± 12.67 mg GAE/g) and total flavonoid content (215.14 ± 24.83 mg QE/g). The radical scavenging activity IC50 values of the EA fraction for 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline)-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) were 0.022 mg/mL and 0.13 mg/mL, respectively. Further, SOD-like activity and reducing power values of the EA fraction were higher than those of the other fractions. However, both the α-glucosidase and lipid accumulation inhibition assays showed that the BuOH fraction (83.35 ± 4.18% at 1 mg/mL) and water extract (11.27 ± 2.67%) were more effective than the EA fraction (64.13 ± 6.35%, and 45.66 ± 7.20%). These results provide new insights into the potential anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects of Smilax china L. leaf.

Keywords: Smilax china L; anti-diabetic activity; anti-obesity activity; antioxidant; organic solvent fraction


Fig. 1
Extraction and fractionation of Smilax china L. leaf extracts(SCLE) by using various solvents
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Fig. 2
Total polyphenol content (A) and total flavonoid content (B) of SCLE fractions. Garlic acid and quercetin were used as standard compounds for the measurement of polyphenol and flavonoid contents respectively. Results are presented as Mean ± SD of three independent experiments. **: p < 0.001 as compared to the SCLE.
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Fig. 3
SOD-like activity of SCLE fractions. SOD-like activity assay was performed by using a range of SCLE concentrations. Ascorbic acid was used as positive control. Results are presented as Mean ± SD of three independent experiments. *: p < 0.05 as compared to the SCLE.
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Fig. 4
Anti-diabetic activity of SCLE fractions. α-Glucosidase inhibitory activity assay was performed using a range of concentrations (incubation time, 30 min)(A) and time-points (concentration, 0.25 mg/mL)(B). Acarbose was used as positive control. Results are presented as Mean ± SD of three independent experiments. *: p < 0.05, **: p < 0.001 as compared to the SCLE. #p < 0.001 as compared to the acarbose.
Click for larger image

Fig. 5
Effects of SCLE fractions on lipid accumulation. 3T3-L1 adipocytes were stained with Oil-Red O for 1 hr. Stained oil droplets were dissolved in isopropanol and quantified by spectrophotometric analysis at 500 nm. Results are expressed as Mean ± SD of three independent experiments and each sample was measured in triplicate. **: p < 0.001 as compared to the control.
Click for larger image


Table 1
IC50 value1) of SCLE fractions for DPPH and ABTS
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Table 2
Reducing power of SCLE fractions
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This work was supported by grants of Well-being Bioproducts Regional innovation Center project (B0009702)

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