How Plant Extracts Affect Blood Circulation in Different Health Conditions

Jenn Hoskins
23rd May, 2024

How Plant Extracts Affect Blood Circulation in Different Health Conditions

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine examined how Salvia miltiorrhiza's stem and leaf extracts are absorbed and metabolized in rats
  • Microcirculation disturbances in rats altered the absorption of key compounds, increasing rosmarinic and lithospermic acids but decreasing caffeic acid
  • The findings suggest that the physiological state of the organism can significantly impact the effectiveness of herbal medicines like Salvia miltiorrhiza
Salvia miltiorrhiza, commonly known as Danshen, is widely recognized for its medicinal properties, particularly in cardiovascular health and cancer treatment. Recent research conducted by Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine has delved into the pharmacokinetics of the stem and leaf extracts of Salvia miltiorrhiza, aiming to understand how these components are absorbed and metabolized in the body[1]. This study specifically examined the dynamic absorption changes of phenolic acids (FS) and phenolic acids-flavonoids (FT) in rats after oral administration. The study revealed significant differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters of these compounds between normal rats and those with microcirculation disturbance, a condition induced by injecting 10% polymer dextran 500 into the tail vein. Notably, the maximum concentration (Cmax) of caffeic acid decreased, while the Cmax of rosmarinic acid and lithospermic acid increased. Additionally, danshensu showed a decrease in clearance (CLz/F) and an increase in both the area under the curve (AUC0-t and AUC0-∞), indicating prolonged exposure in the body. These findings suggest that microcirculation disturbance can alter the absorption of these bioactive compounds, enhancing the uptake of some while reducing others. This research builds on earlier studies highlighting the therapeutic potential of Salvia miltiorrhiza and its derivatives. For instance, previous studies have demonstrated the anti-cancer properties of salvianolic acid A (SAA), a major component of Salvia miltiorrhiza, in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)[2]. SAA was shown to inhibit NPC cell migration and invasion by downregulating matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and inactivating key signaling pathways such as FAK, Src, and ERK. Similarly, salvianolic acid A has been found to reduce viability, metastasis, and vasculogenic mimicry (VM) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), primarily by modulating the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway[3]. The current study's findings on the pharmacokinetics of phenolic acids and flavonoids from Salvia miltiorrhiza add another layer of understanding to how these compounds exert their effects in vivo. By showing that microcirculation disturbances can influence the absorption and exposure of these compounds, the study provides crucial insights into their potential therapeutic applications and how they might be optimized for better efficacy. Moreover, the study underscores the importance of considering the physiological state of the organism when evaluating the pharmacokinetics of herbal medicines. The increased absorption of rosmarinic acid and lithospermic acid under conditions of microcirculation disturbance aligns with earlier research demonstrating the protective effects of rosmarinic acid against oxidative damage and inflammation. For example, rosmarinic acid has been shown to ameliorate selenite-induced cataractogenesis in rat pups by enhancing antioxidant defenses and reducing oxidative stress[4]. It also exhibits significant anti-arthritic potential by reducing inflammation and oxidative damage in arthritic rats[5]. In conclusion, the research from Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine provides valuable insights into the pharmacokinetics of phenolic acids and flavonoids from Salvia miltiorrhiza, highlighting how microcirculation disturbances can modulate their absorption and exposure. These findings not only enhance our understanding of the pharmacological actions of these compounds but also pave the way for optimizing their therapeutic use in various health conditions.



Main Study

1) Comparative pharmacokinetic study on phenolic acids and flavonoids in normal and microcirculation dysfunction rats plasma by UPLC-TQ/MS/MS after oral administration of Salvia miltiorrhiza stem-leaf extracts.

Published 30th May, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) Salvianolic acid A suppresses MMP-2 expression and restrains cancer cell invasion through ERK signaling in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

3) Salvianolic acid A blocks vasculogenic mimicry formation in human non-small cell lung cancer via PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling.

4) Protective Effects of Rosmarinic Acid against Selenite-Induced Cataract and Oxidative Damage in Rats.

5) Rosmarinic acid attenuates inflammation in experimentally induced arthritis in Wistar rats, using Freund's complete adjuvant.

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