What are the health
benefits of Buckwheat?
What is buckwheat?

Buckwheat has been grown since 1000 BC or earlier in China. It has many varieties and Fagopyrum
esculentum Moemch (common buckwheat or sweet buckwheat) is one of the most common buckwheat.
Buckwheat has been used in various food products and some researches have been done with the
common buckwheat. It contains proteins, flavonoids, flavones, phytosterols, thiamin-binding proteins,
and other rare compounds in its seeds. It has been speculated that buckwheat may benefit people with
cholesterol issues, hypertension and constipation. [1]

The Potential Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Buckwheat sprout was found to contain quercetin, I-ascorbic acid, oxalic, malic, tartaric, and citric acids,
rutin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Animal / cell studies suggest that buckwheat may have benefits of
anti-cancer, cholesterol lowering, triglyceride lowering and anti-oxidative activities. [4,6]

Extracts of buckwheat spouts were found to have anti-inflammatory activities in a study of
lipopolysaccharide-treated mice. After the intake of lipopolysaccharide, the inflammatory cytokines,
such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha were markedly up-regulated in the spleen and
liver. [2] While, buckwheat hull extract was shown to have neurological protection against trimethyltin in
a study of rats. [3]

In a study of Syrian hamsters, animals were fed with high fat high cholesterol meals. Low seed meal was
found to reduce serum total cholesterol levels, high seed and sprout meals reduced the serum
triglyceride levels. And all buckwheat meals suppressed LDL cholesterol. [4] Korean researchers even
found that germinated buckwheat has potent anti-fatty liver activities in an animal study. When an
ethanol extract of germinated buckwheat was fed daily to mice at 100 or 200 mg/kg body wt, along with
a high-fat diet, oral administration of germinated buckwheat caused significant reductions in triglyceride
and total cholesterol levels in the liver after 8 weeks. Oral administration of germinated buckwheat also
down-regulated mRNA expressions of PPARgamma and C/EBPalpha in hepatocytes, in a
dose-dependent manner. [5]


[1] Li SQ, Zhang QH. Advances in the development of functional foods from buckwheat. Crit Rev Food
Sci Nutr. 2001 Sep;41(6):451-64. [2] Ishii S, Katsumura T, Shiozuka C, Ooyauchi K, Kawasaki K,
Takigawa S, Fukushima T, Tokuji Y, Kinoshita M, Ohnishi M, Kawahara M, Ohba K.Anti-inflammatory
effect of buckwheat sprouts in lipopolysaccharide-activated human colon cancer cells and mice. Biosci
Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Dec;72(12):3148-57. Epub 2008 Dec 7. [3] Koda T, Kuroda Y, Ueno Y,
Kitadate K, Imai H. Protective Effects of Buckwheat Hull Extract against Experimental Hippocampus Injury
Induced by Trimethyltin in Rats. Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2008 Jul;63(4):711-6. [4] Lin LY, Peng CC,
Yang YL, Peng RY. Optimization of bioactive compounds in buckwheat sprouts and their effect on blood
cholesterol in hamsters. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 27;56(4):1216-23. Epub 2008 Jan 24. [5] Choi I,
Seog H, Park Y, Kim Y, Choi H. Suppressive effects of germinated buckwheat on development of fatty
liver in mice fed with high-fat diet. Phytomedicine. 2007 Aug;14(7-8):563-7. Epub 2007 Jun 29. [6] Gao
L, Li YY, Zhang Z, Wang ZH, Wang HW, Zhang L, Zhu L. Apoptosis of HL-60 cells induced by
recombinant common Buckwheat trypsin inhibitor Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi. 2007
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