“Orally administered herbal medicines and functional foods

“Orally administered herbal medicines and functional foods inevitably selleckchem come in contact with intestinal microbiota [1] and [2]. The intestinal microbiota are influenced by endogenous and exogenous factors, such as diet, drugs, stress, etc, and they metabolize endogenous compounds secreted

into the gastrointestinal tract and orally administered exogenous xenobiotics, such as constituents of herbal medicines and functional foods [3], [4] and [5]. Thus, intestinal microbiota transform constituents of herbal medicines and functional foods to bioactive compounds prior to absorption [2], [6] and [7]. Ginseng (the root of Panax ginseng Meyer, Araliaceae) is frequently used as a herbal medicine and functional food, and ginsenosides, the major constituents, exhibit

a spectrum of biological effects, including anti-inflammatory and antitumor activity [2], [8] and [9]. Ginsenosides need to be metabolically activated by human intestinal microbes Nutlin-3 solubility dmso to express their biological effects [10] and [11]. Ginsenosides Ra, Rb1, Rb2, and Rc are metabolized primarily to ginsenoside Rd by human intestinal microbiota ( Fig. 1) [6], [7] and [12]. Ginsenoside Rd exhibits potent anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, Ribonuclease T1 and anti-ischemic effects [13], [14] and [15], and it is further metabolized to ginsenoside F2 and compound K, which also possess pharmacological activity. Intestinal microbes, therefore, play an important role in the observed

pharmacological effects of ginseng. Furthermore, the gastrointestinal absorption of ginseng constituents and metabolites in humans and animals is influenced by regulators of intestinal microbiota such as diet and drugs. Therefore, the effect of diet and subsequent alterations in intestinal bacterial metabolic activities on the pharmacokinetic behaviors of ginsenosides needs to be studied in detail. NUTRIOSE, used as a food ingredient, is a soluble prebiotic fiber derived from wheat and corn. NUTRIOSE administered orally to healthy men is partially digested (up to 15%) in the small intestine and progressively fermented (up to 75%) in the colon [16]. NUTRIOSE also increased colony counts of intestinal Lactobacillus spp. [16], [17] and [18]. In human individuals given short- and long-term NUTRIOSE supplementations, fecal α/β-glucosidase activities were significantly increased and symptoms of intestinal bowel disease were improved through a protective immune effect.

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