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The Availability of Kaempferia parviflora for Healthy Food Material
Rhizomes of Zingiberaceae plant, Kaempferia parviflora (KP) has been utilized as a panax in south-east Asia. The major pharmacological activities including enhancement of male sexual functions and improvement of lipid metabolism have been reported. From its various activities, KP would possess novel functions yet to be revealed. In our research program to investigate novel functions from natural plant resources, we focused on KP and tested its inhibitory activity on xanthine oxidase (XOD), effects on blood fluidity and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which are deeply related to life-style diseases. Firstly, we clarified the inhibitory activity of KP on XOD. In addition, the active principles were determined as 3,5,7,3',4'-pentamethoxyflavone (PMF) and 5,7,3',4'-tetramethoxyflavone (TMF). This result may suggest that KP would be a candidate for the anti-gout agent. Secondly, KP showed improvement in blood fluidity in lipopolysaccharide-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation rat model. Moreover, the euglobulin lysis time was shortened by oral KP administration. These results showed that the one of the mechanism of improvement of blood fluidity attributed to the fibrinolysis activities of KP and PMF. Finally, KP showed suppression of BPH in castrated rat model. This activity was revealed to be attributed to 5 alpha reductase inhibitory activities by PMF and TMF. Thus, KP might be a novel healthy food material with various functions.