Chinese herb has anti-ageing potential due to potent free radical scavenging powers

By Millette Burgos

- Last updated on GMT

The TCM herb showed anti-ageing potential. ©iStock
The TCM herb showed anti-ageing potential. ©iStock

Related tags Antioxidant

The Chinese herb Chuanmishen violaceum (CVPS) helped improve antioxidant activity and increased free radical scavenging capabilities in tests on ageing mice, revealing it’s suitability for anti-ageing products.

The water-soluble polysaccharides extracted from the root of the CVPS herb were investigated during in vitro​ and in vivo​ experiments.

“The results revealed that the CVPS could significantly scavenge free radicals in vitro. Moreover, the in vivo experiments suggested that the administration of the CVPS markedly improved the antioxidant activities of the aging mice by increasing the free-radical scavenging activities,”​ wrote researchers from Chengdu University, Sichuan in a paper published in Carbohydrate Polymers​.

Chuanminshen violaceum​ is a species of the perennial herbs, abundant in the Sichuan and Hubei provinces of China. Known as a non-toxic traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herb, it is used in tonics that help strengthen the body and nourish the spleen and lungs.

This herb is also used for treatment of various conditions such as coughs, anorexia and infirmity.

For the in vitro experiment, researchers used free radicals DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), hydroxyl and superoxide anion to determine CVPS’s scavenging powers.

All three free radicals were each diluted with CVPS solution and incubated for periods ranging to five minutes to an hour. Vitamin C diluted in deionized water served as control for all three mixture.

Strong scavenging effect

““The results of the in vitro antioxidant assay suggested that the CVPS scavenged DPPH, hydroxyl, and superoxide anion radicals,”​ researchers wrote.

“All the solution containing the CVPS showed strong scavenging effect against DPPH radicals."

Meanwhile, three different doses of CVPS were administered to mice with induced ageing over a period of six weeks.

Findings revealed that after CVPS dosage, the mice showed enhanced antioxidant enzyme activities.

“Organisms have antioxidant defense mechanisms to eliminate the oxidative stress damage, which is partly supported by antioxidant enzymes. Antioxidants enzymes… control the levels of reactive oxidants and damages,” ​wrote the researchers.

In a previous in vivo​ study involving CVPS, researchers investigated the herb’s inmmune-enhancing effects.

“The results showed that CVPS administered as an adjuvant could significantly promote the humoral and cellular-immune responses in mice of a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine.”

But in this study, evidence points to CVPS’ strong antioxidant capabilities, concluded the researchers.

“Synthetic antioxidants, such as butylatedhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), may be involved in liver damage and carcinogenesis,”​ they wrote.

“Therefore, much interest is given in developing antioxidants, with especially low side-effects, natural and nature-derived antioxidants to help reducing oxidative damages on the human body.”

“The objectives of this study was to investigate the anti-oxidation activity of CVPS in vitro, via various radical scavenging methods, and in vivo, by evaluating the free radical scavenging activity of CVPS,” ​they added.

“The results of our investigation could provide a theoretical basis for the development of novel polysaccharide antioxidants.”


Source: Carbohydrate Polymers

DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.10.040

“Antioxidant activities of the polysaccharides of Chuanminshen violaceum”

Authors: Jing Fan, Haibo Feng et al​.

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