Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology

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Research Article - Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2023) Volume 6, Issue 2

Effect of Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng extract on arginine absorption, intestinal permeability, microbiota population, immune activation, and appetite in human subjects with Ulcerative Colitis: A Pilot Study

To the best of our knowledge, there are no clinical trials conducted with Astragalus and Panax notoginseng extracts in Ulcerative Colitis (UC) patients. Saponin extracts of Astragalus or ginseng has potential to reduce inflammation and regulate gut microflora in animals. The purpose of this pilot study is to investigate whether a standardized Astragalus and Panax notoginseng extract (APS) supplementation could improve arginine absorption, intestinal permeability, microbiota population, immune cell count, and appetite in patients with UC. This trial was a randomized,  double-blind, parallel study on patients with UC between the ages of 20 and 80. Patients took one capsule of APS (or placebo) before each breakfast and dinner daily during the trial. Blood and fecal tests were collected, including plasma arginine, biochemical indicators, indicators of
inflammation and appetite, and fecal microorganisms. Additionally, leaky gut test and colonic tissue examination were performed. A total of eight people completed the trial. After a 3-month trial supplementing with APS, fecal calprotectin decreased significantly by 60.9% (P=0.015) in the APS group. APS group's ratio of lactulose/mannitol decreased significantly by 40% (P=0.02), suggesting improved intestinal mucosal integrity. Furthermore, there was a significant 58% decrease in MPO (P=0.046) in the APS Astragalus, Panax notoginseng, IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, 66.7%), and a significantly higher arginine absorption by 49.7% compared to the placebo group (P=0.008). The immune cell of peripheral blood was also assessed, displaying that the UC patients’ proportion of neutrophils and lymphocytes increased by 11.7% and 20.5%,
respectively, in the APS group. After the 3-month trial, the alpha diversity index of the placebo group had a downward trend, whereas the APS group had an upward trend (up by 60%). The pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, and IL-1β were decreased by 70.1%, 66.9%, and 44.6%, respectively, in APS-supplemented UC patients. The results of gut microflora analysis by NGS showed Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, which is one of the major butyric acid-producing bacteria in the human intestine, increased by 420% in the APS group. Similarly, another probiotic Bifidobacterium adolescentis increased by 181% in the APS group. Furthermore, the total amount of appetite-increasing hormones Ghrelin increased by 48% in the APS group.  In conclusion, APS supplementation showed improvement in arginine absorption, intestinal permeability, microbiota population, immune cell count, and appetite in patients with UC.

Author(s): Ching-Pin Lin1,2, Yao-Tsung Yeh3,4, Min-Hsi Chiu3,4, Ting-Yn Pan5, and You-Cheng Shen5,6*

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