Toxicological evaluation of the isoflavone puerarin and its glycosides

Hyuk Jin Chung, Mi Ja Chung, Soung Jin Houng, Jungae Jeun, Dong Keon Kweon, Chung Hyo Choi, Jong Tae Park, Kwan Hwa Park, Sung Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Puerarin, an isoflavone derived from kudzu roots, has strong biological activities. However, its bioavailability in vivo is often limited by its insolubility. A novel transglycosylase increases the solubility of puerarin >100-fold, by converting it to puerarin glycosides. Since over-consumption of an isoflavone might have toxic effects, therefore, we investigated the potential antimutagenic activity, bone marrow micronucleus test, and a 28-day oral repeated administration test with puerarin and its glycosides. In Ames tests, neither puerarin nor its glycosides exhibited mutagenic effects up to 200 μg/plate. Puerarin and its glycoside, glucosyl-α-(1,6)-puerarin, significantly reduced the mutagenic effect of 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide by up to 41%. In bone marrow micronucleus tests using ICR mice, neither puerarin nor glucosyl-α-(1,6)-puerarin interfered with erythrocyte production in the bone marrow. Both compounds decreased the prevalence of polychromatic erythrocytes. Sprague-Dawley rats were orally dosed with puerarin and its glycosides daily for 28 days. Neither puerarin nor its glycosides caused significant alterations in histology, and biochemical and hematologic parameters. These results suggest that puerarin and its glycosides do not have significant toxic effects, at least in rodents, either in vitro or in vivo at doses of up to 250 mg/kg per day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Food Research and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by a grant from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (A060334), and the Functional Food Research Center and the Center for Functional Food Material, Korea University (A050376).


  • Genotoxicity
  • Glycosylation
  • Puerarin
  • Twenty-eight-day oral repeated administration test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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