TCM herbal extract mixture helps lower diabetes risk: Chinese mouse study

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

The herbal mixture is said to lower blood glucose and insulin resistance. ©iStock
The herbal mixture is said to lower blood glucose and insulin resistance. ©iStock

Related tags Insulin Diabetes mellitus Blood sugar

A combination of refined herbal extracts can help to lower the risk of diabetes, according to a Chinese study.

Abstract Refined-JQ (JQ-R) is a mixture of refined extracts from Caprifoliaceae, Leguminosae and Ranunculaceae — the three major herbal components of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula known as the JinQi-JiangTang tablet.

JQ-R is said to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate glucose metabolism, and Chinese researchers set out to examine the mechanisms by which JQ-R achieves the aforementioned effects.

To do so, they divided 48 diabetic male mice equally into four groups: one control, one treated with metformin, another treated with 100mg/kg of JQ-R, and the last treated with 200mg/kg of JQ-R; all treatments were administered daily.

Glucose and glycated haemoglobin

After five weeks of treatment, the researchers found that compared with the control group, the mice in both the JQ-R groups displayed lower blood glucose levels and improved blood glucose metabolism.

After six weeks, the blood glucose decrease in the JQ-R groups was nearly 40% greater than that in the control group.

After eight weeks of treatment, the mice in the JQ-R groups exhibited reduced glycated haemoglobin levels.

Insulin and inflammation

Four weeks of treatment saw the mice who had been fed a daily 200mg/kg of JQ-R display improved insulin sensitivity, and after 10 weeks, both JQ-R groups saw significant decreases in their blood insulin levels when compared with the control group.

The study said that the JQ-R mice’s “whole-body glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity were substantially improved after JQ-R treatment”​.

Furthermore, their total blood cholesterol dropped by 50% after six weeks of treatment, and the high-dosage JQ-R group saw its blood triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels lowered.

In addition to the abovementioned effects of JQ-R, the study stated that the herbal preparation could also prevent inflammation and oxidative stress by diminishing inflammatory cytokines.

A useful candidate

The study mentioned JQ-R’s three biologically active fractions: ​the polyhydric alcohols of Caprifoliaceae, the saponins of Leguminosae, and the total alkaloid fraction of Ranunculaceae, saying “these components effectively regulate blood glucose metabolism and ameliorate oxidative stress and related inflammatory responses”​.

It added that JQ-R was found to “improve glucose metabolism in diabetic mice, at least in part by stimulating glucose uptake in skeletal muscle”​, and concluded that “based on these findings, JQ-R may be useful as a candidate for the prevention and treatment of diabetes”​.


Source: Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B

Anti-diabetic effects and mechanisms of action of a Chinese herbal medicine preparation JQ-R in vitro and in diabetic KKAy​ mice”

Authors: Quan Liu, et al.

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