Yam tubers are not only used as food but it is traditionally used in herbal medicines in the Philippines.
They reportedly help lower sugar levels, improve metabolism, provide energy and antioxidant defenses, and prevent damage in blood vessel walls.
Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin from the Visayas State University has produced angiostensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors from yam tubers. These proteins are considered commercially important for the treatment of hypertension.
Dr. Tulin discovered that 100 g of yam could provide as much as 364 mg of ACE inhibitors. The yam-derived protein has induced proliferation of bone marrow cells and spleen cells in mice but was not allergenic to them.
In the study, there was lack of morphological changes in the internal organs of the tested animals observed, and according to Dr. Tulin, the ACE derived from yam tubers could be a potential anti hypertensive drug.
The yam extracted ACE protein, which Dr. Tulin called PRP-1, an acronym for Philippine Rootcrops Protein-1, has a great potential for treatment against hypertension, and is also believed to have an essential role in metabolic regulation, particularly in glucose metabolism.
The study of Dr. Tulin regarding the yam extracted ACE protein is entitled ” Isolation and functional characterization of mimetic protein (PRP-1) from yam,” which has yielded the foregoing findings. It has won the first place in the research category of the National Symposium on Agriculture Resources Research and Development (NSARRD).
NSARRD aims to recognize the significant contributions of individuals like Dr. Tulin and other institutions in furthering the interest of research in the country, particularly in the agriculture, forestry and natural resources sectors.