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Planta Med. 2008 Apr;74(5):491-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1074495.

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) juice exerts an anticonvulsant effect in mice through binding to GABA receptors.

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  • 1University of Latvia, Faculty of Medicine, Sarlotes Str. 1a, Riga, Latvia.


Naturally occurring benzodiazepines have been identified in regular food such as wheat and potato, but there is still no evidence that potato extracts can affect CNS responses in vivo. Here we found that undiluted potato juice and potato juice diluted with saline 1 : 2 administered 10 min intracisternally ( I. C.) and 30 min per os before bicuculline exerted significant anticonvulsant activity in the bicuculline-induced seizure threshold test in mice. In vitro, potato juice from different harvests at dilution series from 10 % to 0.000001 %, diluted 100,000-fold, displaced 50 % of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor ligand [ (3)H]GABA and diluted 40-fold displaced 50 % of [(3)H]flunitrazepam from binding sites in mice forebrain membranes. The low content of diazepam (0.04 +/- 0.01 mg/kg) determined by HPLC and mass spectrometry in the potato extracts could not sustain the anticonvulsant activity of potato juice in vivo; therefore we hypothesized that potato juice might contain GABA (A) receptor GABA-site active compounds. The findings of this study suggest that potato juice as well as potato taken as food may have the capacity of influencing brain GABA-ergic activity.

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