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Open Access Research

Jerusalem artichoke and chungkookjang additively improve insulin secretion and sensitivity in diabetic rats

Hye Jeong Yang1, Dae Young Kwon1, Min Jung Kim1, Suna Kang2, Da Sol Kim2 and Sunmin Park2*

Author Affiliations

1 Food Functional Research Division, Korean Food Research Institutes, Sungnam, South Korea

2 Department of Food and Nutrition, Basic Science Institutes, Hoseo University, Asan, South Korea

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2012, 9:112  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-9-112

Published: 27 December 2012


Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus Linne, HTL) and chungkookjang (CKJ; fermented soybeans) both modulate energy and glucose metabolism. However, the mechanism and their additive effects are unknown. We investigated whether the consumption of HTL and CKJ altered insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion capacity and β-cell survival in type 2 diabetic animals. Rats were divided into partially pancreatectomized (Px) diabetic rats, and sham operated non-diabetic control rats and all fed high fat diets. Diabetic rats were sub-divided into an untreated diabetic control group and those fed 5% HTL, 5% CKJ or 5% HTL+5% CKJ for 8 weeks. HTL+CKJ treatment reduced visceral fat without modulating energy intake compared to the diabetic-control. Glucose tolerance was improved in an ascending order of diabetic-control, CKJ, HTL, HTL+CKJ, and normal-control, but by different mechanisms. CKJ and CKJ+HTL, but not HTL, increased first and second phase insulin secretion in comparison to the diabetic-control at hyperglycemic clamp. However, glucose infusion rates (mg/kg bw/min) were increased by and CKJ+HTL (13.5), but not HTL (9.4) or CKJ (9.5) alone, and HTL and CKJ+ HTL decreased hepatic glucose compared to diabetic-control during the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic study and were associated with decreased triglyceride accumulation and increased glycogen storage. The improved hepatic insulin sensitivity by HTL and CKJ+HTL was explained by potentiated insulin signaling (tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 2→phosphorylation of Akt) and phosphorylation of AMPK→phosphorykation of acetyl Co carboxlase in comparison to diabetic-control and decreased PEPCK expression. Absolute β-cell mass was increased by CKJ (23.4mg) and CKJ+HTL (26.3 mg) by increasing proliferation compared to the diabetic-control (21.26 mg). Although HTL lowered β-cell apoptosis, it did not increase β-cell mass (20.8 mg). In conclusions, HTL and CKJ enhanced glucose tolerance in different manners, and exhibited partially additive and complementary effects by reversing insulin resistance and enhancing β-cell function in diabetic rats.

Jerusalem artichokes; Chungkookjang; Insulin resistance; Insulin secretion; Islet morphometry