Red yeast barley reduces plasma glucose levels and activates AMPK phosphorylation in db/db mice

Hee jin Jun, Young Mi Choi, Minh Hien Hoang, Yoayao Jia, Ji Hae Lee, Sung Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Red yeast (Monascus purpureus) fermented over rice has a limited hypoglycemic activity. To enhance its glucose-lowering effect, we fermented red yeast over waxy barley, a hypoglycemic grain with high levels of fibers and β-glucans, and investigated the metabolic effects of red yeast barley (RYB) in high-fat-fed hyperglycemic db/db mice for 6 weeks. The fasting glucose levels were significantly reduced in the RYB group at 6 weeks by 25% (p<0. 05), as was the glucose tolerance (-27% of area under the curve in RYB vs. controls, p<0. 05). Plasma insulin levels and the expression of PPAR-γ were unaltered, however, the phosphorylation activation of hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was increased significantly in RYB group compared with controls suggesting that hypoglycemic effect of RYB may be achieved by AMPK-dependent mechanism. RYB may be used as a hypoglycemic functional food modulating cellular AMPK activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1270
Number of pages6
JournalFood Science and Biotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by a grant from the Korean Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A050376) and the support of ‘Forest Science & Technology Projects (Project No. S120909L130110)’ provided by Korea Forest Service.


  • AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)
  • Monascus purpureus
  • barley
  • glucose tolerance
  • red yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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