Knowledge: Monk Fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii)

Monk Fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii)

Monk fruit is indigenous to China and Indonesia and is one among seven species belonging to genus Siraitia. Among seven, Siraitia grosvenorii species is principally cultivated for more than 200 years in Guangxi province of China which accounts for more than 90% of the global production. The fruit of Siraitia grosvenorii is commonly known worldwide as monk fruit and regionally as Luo Han Guo. The plant is a perennial vine of the Cucurbitaceae family which produces a round green fruit. The chemical structures of the sweetening components naturally found in the fruit belong to the triterpenoid group of chemicals and are named mogrosides. These are present at 0.55–0.65% in the fresh fruit, and about 2.5% in the dried fruit of S. grosvenorii.

Monk fruit contains essential oil, saccharides, proteins, vitamins and flavours. It is also rich in several triterpene glycosides, commonly known as mogroside, having high biological effects and sweet taste. A group of mogroside principally contains mogroside IV, V and VI, siamenoside I and 11-oxo-mogroside V, considered to be mainly responsible for the strong sweetening property of monk fruit. The primary sweetening component of monk fruit extract, with a content of 1.5–2% in the dried fruit, is mogroside V, which is around 250 times as sweet as sucrose. The mogroside extract from ripe monk fruit could be an ideal replacement of sugar for diabetic and obese patients due to its high level of sweetness and low calorific value than sucrose.

Uses:

Traditionally, the fruit is used as a natural sweetener of foods and also as a household remedy for nourishing the lungs, and treating sunstroke, dire thirst, constipation, sore throat, cough and cold. Monk fruit extract acts as a sugar alternative in low-calorie health-protective food for diabetics and obese patients worldwide.

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HEALTH BENEFITS

Hypoglycemic Effects

In vivo study on the antidiabetic effect of long-term supplementation with Siraitia grosvenorii on the spontaneously diabetic Goto–Kakizaki (GK) rat
Subject Type 2 diabetic Goto–Kakizaki rat (n =20)
Duration 13 weeks
Group
  • Control
  • SG-ex: 4g/kg of Siraitia grosvenorii extract daily
Parameters analyzed
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Pancreatic insulin level
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • From week 8 to the end of treatment, the non-fasting plasma glucose levels (PGNF) in the SG-ex group became lower than that in the control group.
  • Fasting plasma glucose is significantly lower (P < 0·05) at 120 min in the SG-ex group than in the control group.
  • SG-ex group showed a marked, short-lived increase at 15 min in the plasma insulin levels that returned to the control levels after 30 min. This marked rise of plasma insulin could influence liver and peripheral tissues to facilitate glucose uptake and result in the decrease of plasma glucose levels at 120 min in the SG-ex group.
  • Pancreatic insulin contents were significantly higher in the SG-ex group than in the control group (P = 0·013).
Functions S. grosvenorii extract and mogroside V can significantly promote insulin secretion and regulate blood sugar levels.
Fig. 1: Plasma glucose levels of Goto–Kakizaki rats in the non-fasting state. (●), Siraitia grosvenorii extract supplemented group; (○), control group. Values are means (n 10), with standard errors represented by vertical bars.
Fig. 2 Results of the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Plasma glucose levels (A) and plasma insulin levels (B) at 0, 15, 30, 60 and 120 min after glucose administration in the OGTT. (●), Siraitia grosvenorii extract supplemented group; (○), control group. Values are means (n 6), with standard errors represented by vertical bars. *Mean value was significantly different from that of the control group at the same time point (P < 0·05). †Mean value was significantly different from that at 0 min (P < 0·05).
Fig. 3 Fasting pancreatic insulin levels measured by the sandwich ELISA. (■), Siraitia grosvenorii extract supplemented group; (□), control group. Values are means (n 10), with standard errors represented by vertical bars. *Mean value was significantly different from that of the control group (P = 0·013).

Anti-fatigue property

In vivo study on the effects of Siraitia grosvenorii fruits extract (SGFE) on physical fatigue in mice
Subject Male ICR mice (n =144)
Duration 28 days
Group
  • Control: 2.5mL of physiological saline daily
  • Low-dose SGFE-treated (LT): 2.5mL of 100mg/kg SGFE daily
  • Middle-dose SGFE-treated (MT): 2.5mL of 200mg/kg SGFE daily
  • High-dose SGFE-treated (HT): 2.5mL of 400mg/kg SGFE daily
Parameters analyzed
  • Forced swimming test
  • Blood biochemical parameters
  • Tissue glycogen contents
Outcomes Visible benefits

  • The swimming time-to-exhaustion of the SGFE-treated groups (LT, MT and HT group) were significantly longer than that of the control group (p < 0.05).
  • After swimming, the SGFE-treated groups (LT, MT and HT group) showed a dose-dependent decrease in the BLA levels compared with the control group (p < 0.05). This indicates that SGFE can effectively delay the increase of lactic acid in the blood and postpone the appearance of physical fatigue.
  • LT, MT and HT groups showed a significant decrease in the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The results indicated that SGFE may reduce the catabolic decomposition of protein for energy.
  • SGFE-treated groups showed a dose-dependent increase in the liver and muscle glycogen contents compared with the control group (p < 0.05). The results indicated that the rate of glycogen depletion was delayed in the SGFE-treated groups, and suggested that SGFE could decrease carbohydrate utilization during the exercise.
Functions SGFE can extend the swimming time of the mice, as well as increasing the liver and muscle glycogen contents, but decrease the blood lactic acid and serum urea nitrogen levels.
Effect of Siraitia grosvenorii fruit extracts (SGFE) on swimming time-to-exhaustion of mice.
Effect of Siraitia grosvenorii fruit extracts (SGFE) on blood lactic acid of mice.
Effect of Siraitia grosvenorii fruit extracts (SGFE) on serum urea nitrogen (SUN) of mice.
Effect of Siraitia grosvenorii fruits extracts (SGFE) on liver and muscle glycogen of mice.
Monk fruit extract

Monk Fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) Standardized Extract Powder

  • Pure 70:1 Monk Fruit Siraitia grosvenorii Extract
  • Natural Sweetener
  • Hypoglycemic effects
  • Anti-fatigue property
  • Ultrasonic hot water/solvent extraction