A new study suggests that African potato may interfere with certain drugs metabolized by the liver.
Researchers from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa investigated the effects of the African potato (AP) on drug metabolism pathways involving enzymes in the liver.
The in vitro study analyzed different components of AP including hypoxoside, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and stigmastanol and their effects on liver enzymes associated with the metabolism of many common pharmaceutical drugs. It was suggested that these compounds may have an inhibitory effect on liver enzymes.
The effects were measured through various scientific tests against a known enzyme inhibitor, ritonavir.
The study showed that AP did show an inhibitory effect on certain liver enzymes. Researchers also studied the effects of AP on P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which is a protein that regulates the absorption of certain medications. AP stimulated the production of P-gp, which resulted in decreased drug absorption.
The researchers concluded that although this study was done in vitro, AP may have the potential to interact with a variety of medications. Further studies are warrented to determine its effects in vivo.
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