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Gut microbiota-involved mechanisms in enhancing systemic exposure of ginsenosides by coexisting polysaccharides in ginseng decoction

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      Abstract

      Oral decoctions of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) serve for therapeutic and prophylactic management of diseases for centuries. Small molecules and polysaccharides are the dominant chemicals co-occurred in the TCM decoction. Small molecules are well-studied by multidisciplinary elaborations, whereas the role of polysaccharides remains largely elusive. Here we explore a gut microbiota-involved mechanism by which TCM polysaccharides restore the homeostasis of gut microbiota and consequently promote the systemic exposure of concomitant small molecules in the decoction. As a case study, ginseng polysaccharides and ginsenosides in Du-Shen-Tang, the decoction of ginseng, were investigated on an over-fatigue and acute cold stress model. The results indicated that ginseng polysaccharides improved intestinal metabolism and absorption of certain ginsenosides, meanwhile reinstated the perturbed holistic gut microbiota, and particularly enhanced the growth of Lactobacillus spp. and Bacteroides spp., two major metabolic bacteria of ginsenosides. By exploring the synergistic actions of polysaccharides with small molecules, these findings shed new light on scientization and rationalization of the classic TCM decoctions in human health care.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine , Nanjing, Jiangsu, PR China
            [2 ]Department of Metabolomics, Jiangsu Province Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Jiangsu Branch of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences , Nanjing, Jiangsu, PR China
            [3 ]School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University , Hong Kong
            [4 ]State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau , Macao
            Author notes
            [*]

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            Journal
            Sci Rep
            Sci Rep
            Scientific Reports
            Nature Publishing Group
            2045-2322
            02 March 2016
            2016
            : 6
            26932472
            4774164
            srep22474
            10.1038/srep22474
            Copyright © 2016, Macmillan Publishers Limited

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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