Chinese herbal medicines have helped Chinese people with diabetes lose weight, help improve their cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the online journal Nature Medicine.
The researchers say the drugs work by targeting key inflammation pathways in the body.
It’s not clear why Chinese herbal products work better than other therapies.
The study’s authors say it could be because the Chinese herbal pills contain a unique compound that inhibits the production of a protein called AMP-activated protein kinase, which can activate the inflammation pathway.
It could also be because Chinese herbal remedies have a longer shelf life and are more effective in treating chronic diseases than traditional Chinese medicines.
In a follow-up study, the researchers looked at whether Chinese herbal therapy helped patients with metabolic syndrome, a complex of conditions including obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
They found the Chinese medicine improved insulin sensitivity and the ability to manage blood pressure in the blood, but not the other metabolic syndrome-related conditions.
The new study is the first to show Chinese herbal drugs have an effect on metabolic syndrome.
“This is a very exciting study, but more research is needed to confirm these findings,” said study lead author Dr. Zhuo Wang, a research associate in the Department of Pharmacology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He added that more research could help develop Chinese herbal treatments to treat other conditions.
Other research shows Chinese herbal compounds can help lower blood pressure and improve metabolic health, including in type 2 diabetes.
But the researchers say this is the only study to examine the effectiveness of Chinese herbal therapies in treating metabolic syndrome in patients.
The Chinese herbal remedy they studied has the most potent anti-inflammatory compound known, and it also contains a natural peptide that reduces inflammation.
The peptide, called pomegranate extract, is a potent antihyperglycemic agent, the team reports.
A peptide peptide has the same effect as a sugar pill, but it can be made more active and also contains amino acids, which are important for proper digestion.
“We know from previous research that pomegranate extracts can lower blood sugar and have other health benefits, and we were curious to know if they can do the same for metabolic syndrome,” said co-author Dr. Junqing Zhang, a professor of pharmacology and immunology at the Chinese University.
“The peptide is very effective in reducing inflammation in the stomach, but the peptide itself is a powerful medicine.
So this is a great new discovery for the Chinese medicinal industry.”
The peptides are also thought to help improve the ability of the liver to process glucose and other nutrients.
“Our study showed that the peptides significantly reduced inflammatory processes in the liver and heart, which is an important aspect for managing the metabolic syndrome and type 2 Diabetes,” Zhang said.
The next step for Zhang and his team will be to test the peptises in a large group of people with metabolic and metabolic syndrome to see if it has any effect on the disease.
The research team is continuing to study the peptidergic effect of the Chinese herbs in humans and other animals, and the team hopes to use this knowledge to develop Chinese medicinal products.
A small study published last year in the journal PLOS Medicine found Chinese herbal tea may help reduce metabolic syndrome risk factors and obesity in people with high blood glucose levels.
In that study, researchers looked into the effects of three Chinese herbal teas, three Chinese-made supplements and one herbal extract on the blood sugar levels of women with type 2 diabetic complications.
The herbal tea and supplements did not significantly affect the women’s blood sugar level or insulin sensitivity.
The team notes there is some evidence that some herbal teases, including the Chinese tea, can be used to treat some conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, so it’s possible the benefits of Chinese herbs are worth a closer look.
“A small randomized controlled trial in humans, and in mice, shows that there may be benefits from herbal tea or tea extracts to decrease insulin sensitivity, but further studies are needed to determine whether these are beneficial to people with type two diabetes,” Zhang added.
The results of the new study are expected in the fall.
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