Analyzing Key Compounds in Schisandra with Advanced Technique

Jim Crocker
3rd April, 2024

Analyzing Key Compounds in Schisandra with Advanced Technique

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Shanxi Medical University improved a method to analyze health-promoting compounds in Schisandra fruit
  • The new technique can separate and measure seven beneficial compounds in 20 minutes with high precision
  • This advancement aids in quality control of Schisandra products and supports its potential therapeutic uses
Schisandra chinensis, a plant revered in Far Eastern medicine, is gaining recognition for its therapeutic potential in modern science. It is particularly noted for its fruit, which contains compounds called lignans with a variety of health benefits. Researchers at Shanxi Medical University have developed a new method to analyze these lignans, providing a significant step forward in the quality control of Schisandra-based products[1]. The study's main goal was to refine a technique known as micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) to separate and measure seven specific lignans found in Schisandra chinensis: Gomisin D, E, G, H, J, N, and O. These lignans have been previously identified for their impressive range of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor effects[2]. MEKC is a form of capillary electrophoresis, which is a technique that can separate molecules based on their size and charge by applying an electric field to a capillary tube filled with a buffer solution. The Shanxi Medical University team optimized the MEKC method by adjusting various parameters such as the composition of the running buffer, which included sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and a mix of methanol and ethanol, to achieve the best separation of the lignans. This refined method demonstrated that all seven lignans could be separated clearly within 20 minutes, with a high level of precision and accuracy. The detection limits were low enough to be practical for testing real samples, and the recovery rates were excellent, showing that the method is both sensitive and reliable. The significance of this research is multifold. Firstly, it builds upon earlier studies that have established the importance of lignans in Schisandra chinensis. For instance, capillary electrochromatography (CEC) has been previously used to quantify these compounds, validating their presence and concentration in the plant extracts[3]. The new MEKC method offers an alternative that is potentially more efficient and accessible for routine analysis. Moreover, the study's findings have implications for the therapeutic applications of Schisandra lignans. Gomisin D, for example, has been shown to target the PDGFRβ receptor, which is involved in liver fibrosis. By inhibiting the activation of hepatic stellate cells, Gomisin D can alleviate liver fibrosis, suggesting its potential as a treatment for this condition[4]. Additionally, the lignans Gomisin D, J, and O have been investigated for their protective effects against skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, including reducing melanin production, which is a key factor in skin pigmentation and potential skin cancer development[5]. The work by researchers at Shanxi Medical University not only offers a new analytical tool to ensure the quality and consistency of Schisandra chinensis products but also supports the ongoing research into the pharmacological potential of its lignans. As natural products continue to be a focus for the development of new drugs and health supplements, reliable methods for their analysis are essential. In conclusion, the study from Shanxi Medical University has provided an effective and efficient way to measure important bioactive compounds in Schisandra chinensis, reinforcing the bridge between traditional uses of this plant and its application in contemporary medicine. As the interest in natural remedies grows, such advancements in analytical techniques are crucial for the validation and standardization of herbal products, paving the way for their integration into modern healthcare.

BiotechBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Simultaneous separation and determination of seven biphenyl cyclooctene lignans in Schisandra chinensis and its preparations by micellar electrokinetic chromatography with dual organic solvent system.

Published 1st April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Current knowledge of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill. (Chinese magnolia vine) as a medicinal plant species: a review on the bioactive components, pharmacological properties, analytical and biotechnological studies.

3) Application of capillary electrochromatography using macroporous polyacrylamide columns for the analysis of lignans from seeds of Schisandra chinensis.

Journal: Journal of chromatography. A, Issue: Vol 916, Issue 1-2, May 2001

4) Gomisin D alleviates liver fibrosis through targeting PDGFRβ in hepatic stellate cells.

5) Comparative study of the photo‑protective and anti‑melanogenic properties of gomisin D, J and O.

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