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Triterpenoids from the genus Gynostemma: Chemistry and pharmacological activities

Cited 54 time in Web of Science Cited 65 time in Scopus

Ngoc-Hieu Nguyen; Thi Kim Quy Ha; Yang, Jun-Li; Ha Thanh Tung Pham; Oh, Won Keun

Issue Date
Elsevier BV
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol.268, p. 113574
Ethnopharmacological relevance: G. pentaphyllum, also known as Jiao-Gu-Lan, has been used traditionally as folk remedies for many diseases, including diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases in China and some countries in East and Southeast Asia. It is considered as an "immortality herb" in Guizhou Province, because it was consumed regularly by the elderly native inhabitants. Other species of the same genus Gynostemma such as G. longipes and G. laxum have been used as alternatives to G. pentaphyllum in ethnomedicine in Vietnam and other Asian countries. Aim of the review: The review aims to summarize up-to-date study results on Gynostemma species, including traditional usage, phytochemical profile, pharmacological activities, and toxicological studies, in order to suggest future research orientation and therapeutic applications on acute and chronic diseases. Materials and methods: The relevant literature on the genus Gynostemma was gathered from secondary databases (Web of Science and PubMed), books, and official websites. The latest literature cited in this review was published in February 2020. Results: The genus Gynostemma has been widely used in traditional medicine, mainly for treatment of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and hepatosteatosis. To date, 328 dammarane-type saponins were isolated and structurally elucidated from Gynostemma species. Crude extracts, saponin-rich fractions (gypenosides), and pure compounds were reported to show a wide range of pharmacological activities in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. The most notable pharmacological effects were anti-cancer, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammatory activities. Toxicological studies were conducted only on G. pentaphyllum, showing that the plant extracts were relatively safe in both acute and long-term toxicity experiments at the given dosage while no toxicological studies were reported for the other species. Conclusions: The review summarizes current studies on traditional uses, phytochemistry, biological properties, and toxicology of medicinal Gynostemma species. Till now, the majority of publications still focused only on G. pentaphyllum. However, the promising preliminary data of other Gynostemma species indicated the research potential of this genus, both in phytochemical and pharmacological aspects. Furthermore, clinical data are required to evaluate the efficacy and undesired effects of crude extracts, standard saponin fractions, and pure compounds prepared from Gynostemma medicinal plants.
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