Peonies can reverse high-fat, diet-induced metabolic disorder

Two species of peonies display potent therapeutic potential in reversing the adverse metabolic effects of a high-fat diet. These results, published in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, validate the use of natural medicine in remedying the toxic consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

  • Researchers focused on the influence two different species of peonies had on obesity-related gut microbiota homeostasis.
  • Previous studies have shown that alterations in gut microbial communities can cause immune dysregulation, increasing the risk of various autoimmune diseases.
  • Root barks of moutan peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) and roots of Veitch’s peony (Paeonia veitchii) were used.
  • Diet-induced obese mice were orally administered either moutan peony or Veitch’s peony or a combination of both for six weeks.
  • Insulin sensitivity was measured with the oral glucose tolerance test and insulin tolerance test.
  • Other measurements used included:
    • Quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure sterol-regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs) and target genes
    • High-throughput 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene sequencing technology was used to measure the composition of gut microbiota
    • GC-MS was used to measure metabolites in serum
  • Results showed that a combination of both peony species reduced obesity and insulin resistance in the mice.
  • Further, both peonies exhibited an effect similar to metformin (a common and first-line medication for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes).

Authors of the study concluded that peonies display novel mechanisms that improve the profile of gut microbiota. These, in turn, lower the likelihood of developing certain metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

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Journal Reference:

Zhong, L.J., Xie, Z.S., Yang, H., Li, P. Xu, X.J. MOUTAN CORTEX AND PAEONIAE RADIX RUBRA REVERSE HIGH-FAT-DIET-INDUCED METABOLIC DISORDER AND RESTORE GUT MICROBIOTA HOMEOSTASIS. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. March 2017, 15(3), DOI: 10.1016/S1875-5364(17)30037-7

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