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Hepatoprotection by dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ) and mechanisms


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The protection of the liver as an essential organ in the body against oxidative stress and deleterious compounds has been the subject of recent investigations. Among different compounds, medicinal plants play an important role due to their hepatoprotective effects. Taraxacum officinale or “common dandelion” is a popular plant that has been traditionally used for its hepatoprotective effects. Currently, there are limited clinical studies on its hepatoprotective effects. The aim of this review article is to evaluate the hepatoprotective effects of dandelion and its mechanism of action. We reviewed literature up to July 2019 on “Taraxacum officinale” or “dandelion” and hepatoprotection. Currently available pharmacological studies indicate that dandelion extracts have hepatoprotective effects against chemical agents due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The anti-inflammatory effects of dandelion, the prebiotic effects of its oligofructans, inhibitory effects against the release of lipopolysaccharides and fasting induced adipose factor, digestive enzymes, and enhancing effects of lipogenesis, reduce lipid accumulation and liver inflammation, which directly or indirectly improve the liver functions. Given emerging evidence on hepatoprotective effects of dandelion, designing large human clinical studies is essential.
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doi: 10.4103/2221-1691.273081 Impact Factor: 1.59
Hepatoprotection by dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and mechanisms
Mohaddese Mahboubi, Mona Mahboubi
Medicinal Plants Research Department, Research and Development, TabibDaru Pharmaceutical Company, Kashan, Iran
The protection of the liver as an essential organ in the body against
oxidative stress and deleterious compounds has been the subject
of recent investigations. Among different compounds, medicinal
plants play an important role due to their hepatoprotective effects.
Taraxacum officinale or “common dandelion” is a popular plant that
has been traditionally used for its hepatoprotective effects. Currently,
there are limited clinical studies on its hepatoprotective effects.
The aim of this review article is to evaluate the hepatoprotective
effects of dandelion and its mechanism of action. We reviewed
literature up to July 2019 on Taraxacum officinaleor “dandelion”
and hepatoprotection. Currently available pharmacological
studies indicate that dandelion extracts have hepatoprotective
effects against chemical agents due to its antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory activities. The anti-inflammatory effects of dandelion,
the prebiotic effects of its oligofructans, inhibitory effects against
the release of lipopolysaccharides and fasting induced adipose
factor, digestive enzymes, and enhancing effects of lipogenesis,
reduce lipid accumulation and liver inflammation, which directly
or indirectly improve the liver functions. Given emerging evidence
on hepatoprotective effects of dandelion, designing large human
clinical studies is essential.
KEYWORDS: Dandelion; Hepatoprotective effects; Antioxidant;
1. Introduction
Liver is a vital organ with numerous functions in the body,
which transforms and cleans the body from chemical substances.
Although, the main function of liver is the body detoxification
from common toxins, chemicals and heavy metals, but liver is
affected by radical oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress
plays a critical role in initiation and progression of liver injuries.
Furthermore, liver is the metabolic organ for metabolism of
carbohydrates, lipids, proteins to produce the energy. Exogenous
(alcohol, drugs, environmental toxins, virus, and UV light), and
endogenous (obesity, insulin resistance, steatosis, hepatocellular
carcinoma, chronic hepatitis, fibrosis/cirrhosis) agents are the
main reasons for oxidative stress in the liver. Liver injuries by
oxidative stress cause irretrievable alteration in DNA, lipids and
proteins. Different types of liver diseases like zonal necrosis,
hepatitis, cholestasis, steatosis, granuloma, vascular lesions, and
neoplasm are involved in liver disorders[1]. Furthermore, drugs,
air pollution, inflammation, triglyceride accumulation, obesity,
insulin resistance and microorganisms play essential roles in liver
functions and related disorders. Medicinal plants are traditionally
used for their hepatoprotective effects[2] and Taraxacum officinale,
also known as “common dandelion”, is one important medicinal
plant as a hepatoprotective agent, which is used for treatment of
hepatobiliary problems[3]. Dandelion is a popular hepatoprotective
medicinal plant in different traditional medicines. The high content
of minerals, fibers, vitamins, and essential fatty acids make it
as a favorite food source[4]. Dandelion is a French word from
“dent de lion” with meaning of lion’s tooth. The scientific name
of dandelion comes from taraxis and akeomai, with meaning of
“benefit for inflammation”[5]. Dandelion roots are used in different
cuisines of at least 54 countries. Dandelion is used in folk medicine
of China, India and Russia as liver tonic[3]. Different traditional
systems including Ayurveda[6], Siddha and Unani recommended
using the dandelion for management of liver disorders such as
jaundice, liver and gallbladder’s disorders[7-9]. Dandelion roots
in combination with other plants are used in the powder form as
a sedative agent and for regulating the urine discharge and urine
burning sensation in India[10], and this combination is applied
as blood purifier and for treatment of hepatitis, jaundice, and
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2020; 10(1): 1-10
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How to cite this article: Mahboubi M, Mahboubi M. Hepatoprotection by dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale) and mechanisms. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2020; 10(1): 1-10.
Review Article
Article history: Received 14 September 2019; Revision 5 November 2019; Accepted 5
December 2019; Available online 24 December 2019
To whom correspondence may be addressed. E-mail:
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2 Mohaddese Mahboubi et al./ Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2020; 10(1): 1-10
fever[4]. Dandelion leaves or roots are used for liver complaints in
Himalaya region[11]. Oral administration of dandelion roots increases
the bile flow and is known as cholagogue[12]. Dandelion is one
ingredient of “Taemyeongcheong” and “kimchi” that is used for
liver complaints[13], and also eaten as food and salad by Germans,
French and Italian for its hepatoprotective effects[14]. Dandelion
leaves infusions are used in Mexico[15], Pakistan[16], Bolivia[17], and
Canada[18] for hepatic, biliary, kidney and spleen ailments. Moreover,
dandelion roots eliminate the toxins from liver and kidneys, dissolve
the gallstones, increase the appetite and stimulate the bile flow[19].
Although there are some review articles[20-22] on phytochemistry
of dandelion and its health benefit, due to traditional believes on
its hepatoprotective effects and its use in many hepatoprotective
products and limited review article on its effectiveness, this review
article is designed to focus on its hepatoprotective effects and its
related mechanism of actions.
At first, we conducted an investigation on chemical composition of
dandelion and its importance as a hepatoprotective agent.
2. Chemical composition of dandelion
The chemical composition of dandelion plays an important role
in its biological activities. Therefore, before evaluating the potency
of dandelion as a hepatoprotective agent, we consider the chemical
composition from different parts of dandelion.
The chemical composition of dandelion has been the subject
of different investigations. Dandelion plant is rich in vitamins,
inulin, phytosterols, amino acids, and minerals, particularly in
potassium[23,24], sesquiterpenes, triterpenes, phytosterols, and
phenolic compounds[5].
Oligofructans[25], chicoric acid and the related monocaffeyltartaric
acid, hydroxycinnamic acids, chlorogenic acid[23], triterpenoids[26],
lupane-, bauerane-, and euphane-type triterpenoids, 18β,19β-epoxy-
21β-hydroxylupan-3β-yl acetate, 21-oxolup-18-en-3β-yl acetate,
betulin, officinatrione, 11-methoxyolean-12-en-3-one, eupha-7,24-
dien-3-one, and 24-oxoeupha-7,24-dien-3β-yl acetate[27], taraxinic
acid derivatives[4], caffeic acids, p-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid[28],
rutin[29], apigenin, hesperidin, myricetin, sesquiterpene lactones,
hydroxyphenylacetic acid[30], synergic acid, vanillic acid[31] were
isolated from dandelion roots.
Flavonoid glycosides (luteolin 7-glucoside, luteolin 7-diglucosides),
coumarins, cichoriin, aesculin[23], sesquiterpenoid phytoalexin
(Lettucenin A)[32], 4-hydroxyphenylacetate inositol esters[21],
aesculin[4], caffeic acid, chlorogenic acids, apigenin, isovitexin[30],
chicoric acid[31] were identified in dandelion leaves. In addition,
dandelion flowers contained flavonoid glycosides, free luteolin and
Polyphenols (hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and flavonoid
glycosides) are abundant in dandelion aerial parts[33]. In one study,
the phenolic content of young leaf dandelion extract was higher
than that of its root[33]. The extraction by 50% and 80% hydro-
alcohol with or without formic acid at 60 for 3 h exhibited that
the phenolic and flavonoid content of hydro-alcohol 80% with
formic acid was higher than hydro-alcohol 80% without formic acid.
Extraction time and temperature had no effects on total flavonoid
and phenolic content of dandelion leaf extract. Total phenolic content
of leaf was higher than its stem, followed by flower and roots.
Total flavonoid content of leaf was higher than flower, followed by
stem and roots. Chicoric acid was identified as a major phenolic
Lettucenin A Chlorogenic acid
Chicoric acid
Monocaffeyltartaric acid Chrysoeriol
Figure 1. The chemical components of dandelion.
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Mohaddese Mahboubi et al./ Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2020; 10(1): 1-10
compound in dandelion ethanol extract[31] (Figure 1).
The results of these investigations exhibited that the chemical
composition of each part of dandelion is changed by different parts,
extraction method, solvent, and temperature. Therefore, a direct
correlation can be found between the biological activity of dandelion
and its chemical compositions.
3. Hepatoprotective effects of dandelion against toxic
Although dandelion is known as a hepatoprotective plant in
different traditional systems, the recent studies have been limited to
its protective effects against chemical toxic agent in animal studies.
There are different investigations that evaluated the efficacy of
dandelion against chemical agents. Carbon tetrachloride (CCL4)
as hepatotoxic haloalkane is capable to produce hepatocellular
fatty degeneration and centrilobular necrosis. CCL4 increased the
activities of liver enzymes [aspartate aminotransferase (AST),
alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)].
The liver weight and liver hydroxy proline content were increased
in the presence of CCL4 and the activity of hepatic copper zinc
superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD) was reduced[34]. Intra-peritoneal
administration of dandelion root hydro-alcoholic extract for 4 weeks
normalized the activity of ALP, Cu/Zn SOD enzymes and reduced
the hepatic hydroxyl proline level in CCL4-induced hepatic fibrosis
in mice. Dandelion root extract significantly reduced the enlargement
of liver, hepatic fibrinous deposits, and restored histological
architecture. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and α-smooth
muscle actin (α-SMA) expressions were reduced after treatment with
dandelion root extract, while metallothionein (MT) / expression
was increased in dandelion ethanol extract[29]. α-SMA and GFAP
expressions are responsible for fibrosis in chronic liver injury[34].
Up-regulation of MT / expression had protective effects against
liver injury[35]. Dandelion extract showed hepatoprotective effects
against CCL4 induced hepatic fibrosis by reducing the α-SMA
and GFAP and inducing the MT / expression. Liver fibrosis
is associated with excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix
protein in the liver. Dandelion root extract reduced the collagen
deposits in necrotic area and reversed the hepatic fibrosis, which was
associated with reduction in GFAP and α-SMA and increase in the
Cu/Zn SOD activity, suggesting its hepatoprotective effect[29].
Ethanol increases ROS production and reduces the cell viability of
liver. Hot aqueous extract of dandelion root had protective effects
against alcohol-induced liver damage in ICR mice and HepG2/2E1
cell lines without any cytotoxic effects. Dandelion extract (1 g/kg
bw/day) significantly reduced the serum AST, ALT, ALP, lactate
dehydrogenase and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Dandelion also
significantly increased the hepatic antioxidant enzymes [catalase,
glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST),
glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione (GSH)]. Reduction in
lipid peroxidation and increase in antioxidant enzymes were caused
by dandelion hot water extract. Ethanol induced the oxidative
stress that was associated with reduction in cell viability, whereas
dandelion aqueous extract increased the cell viability in the presence
of ethanol[36]. The result of the previous study exhibited that the
hepatoprotective effects of dandelion root extract are related to
its antioxidant activities. Dandelion root extract increased the
antioxidant enzymes and ameliorated the liver enzymes, therefore
protecting the liver against oxidative stress induced by ethanol.
The hepatoprotective effects of dandelion leaf extract were
confirmed against sodium dichromate induced liver injury in rats.
Oral daily administration of dandelion leaf hot water extract (500
mg/kg) for 30 d decreased the total cholesterol, triglycerides, AST,
ALT, lactate dehydrogenase, MDA and chromium concentration in
rat’s blood and liver. Thyroid-stimulating hormone level reached to
normal level in sodium dichromate treated animal after pretreatment
with dandelion leaf extract, which was associated with increase
in antioxidant enzymes activities (SOD, catalase, GPx levels)
and reduction in DNA fragmentation[37]. As the results of this
study confirmed, up-regulation of hepatic antioxidant enzymes
may be responsible for its hepatoprotective effects[38]. Other than
the antioxidant activities of dandelion, the anti-fibrotic effects
of dandelion aqueous extract have been confirmed. Dandelion
inactivates the hepatic stellate cells and enhances the hepatic
regenerative capabilities[39].
Dandelion is used in combination with other herbal extract as
hepato-protective agents and commonly is used in combination
with Silybum marianum (S. marianum). The protective effect of
oral dandelion extract (100 mg/kg/day) and its combination with
S. marianum extract (100 mg/kg/day) was evaluated in CCL4
treated female Wistar albino rats. Combination of dandelion and
S. marianum extracts in CCl4 treated animals decreased the serum
ALP and GGT enzyme activities and MDA level in the kidney
tissue, and increased the GSH level and GST enzyme activities. The
hepatoprotective effects of dandelion were a little weaker than S.
marianum extract[40]. The results of animal studies confirmed the
hepatoprotective effects of hot aqueous extracts of dandelion roots
and leave against chemical compounds and the extract improved
the liver, and antioxidant enzymes. Although the hepatoprotective
effects of dandelion were confirmed in animal studies, there is no
clinical study on its efficacy, it will be worthwhile, if the chemical
compounds responsible for its hepatoprotective effects will be known
and these compounds are chosen as standard for clinical trials.
4. Identified chemical compounds responsible for
hepatoprotective effects of dandelion
Among different parts of dandelion extracts, aqueous extracts
of dandelion roots and leaves have been used as hepatoprotective
agents. Different components may be responsible for its
hepatoprotective effects. Total phenolics, flavonoids, tannins,
polysaccharides and ascorbic acids are the main components of hot
aqueous extract of dandelion leaf with the ability to scavenge the free
radicals[37]. Dandelion extracts had effective reducing power and free
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radical scavenging effects[41]. It has been confirmed that dandelion
leaf extract (EC50: 1.9 µg/mL) had much higher antioxidant activity
than its root extracts (EC50: 12.6 µg/mL) and crude powdered roots
(EC50: 65 µg/mL). Taraxol, taraerol, laevulin, inulin are found in
dandelion extracts responsible for its hepatoprotective effects. Some
compounds isolated from dandelion leaf aqueous extracts, especially
its luteolin and polyphenol contents, had hepatoprotective effects
against CCL4-induced liver injury[42,43].
In addition, the dandelion’s polysaccharides reduced the oxidative
stress and liver inflammation. Oral administration of 304 and 92 mg/kg
polysaccharides (Top1 and Top2) for 7 d reduced the serum AST, and
ALT and thus was effective against CCL4-induced hepatitis in Sprague-
Dawley rats[43].
Polyphenols, flavonoids, and polysaccharides are responsible
compounds for hepatoprotective effects of dandelion. Therefore, the
dandelion extracts can be standardized on the basis of one of these
5. Effects of dandelion on human condition related to
its hepatoprotective effects
Although there is no clinical study on hepatoprotective effects of
dandelion extracts, there is some evidence in human studies which
confirm its potency in protection of liver.
5.1. The role of oligofructans in dandelion and its effects on
liver functions
The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is
associated with worldwide epidemic of obesity. There is a positive
correlation between intestinal microorganisms and development of
obesity and NAFLD. Portal venous system connects the liver and
gut, therefore the liver gets hurt by bacteria, bacteria endotoxin and
Altered gut bacteria induce the release of LPS, fasting induced
adipose factor (FIAF), and endogenous ethanol that stimulate the
hepatic fat deposition and produce the inflammation in the liver
and damage the liver function (Fibrosis/Cirrhosis, steatohepatitis,
steatosis and NAFLD). The use of probiotics and prebiotics as diets
is for regulating the intestinal microbial ecosystems[45]. Prebiotics
act as the source of carbon and energy for stimulating the beneficial
intestinal bacteria. Dandelion roots are rich in oligofructans,
which are known as prebiotics[25]. High prebiotic fiber content of
dandelion acts as the source of carbon and energy for stimulating
the Bifidobacteria or other probiotics[25]. The bifidogenic effect
of dandelion root was confirmed against fourteen Bifidobacteria
strains[25]. Prebiotics are resistant to gastric acidity and mammalian
enzymes and they are fermented by gut bacteria. Prebiotics or non-
digestible fibers induce the growth or activity of intestinal beneficial
bacteria and influence on lipid metabolisms[46]. Reduction in growth
of gut dysbiosis is associated with reduction in release of LPS, FIAF,
and alcohol. In addition, prebiotic compounds induce the intestinal
beneficial bacteria that reduce the lipid accumulation[47] and
oxidative stress[48]. The results of preclinical studies confirmed that
the prebiotic effects of dandelion extracts reduced the inflammation
and oxidative stress in the body. Reduction in oxidative stress and
ethanol production in the liver is the main cause of reduction of liver
5.2. Anti-obesity effects of dandelion
Obesity is the most common background condition for development
of liver diseases with metabolic origin[49]. There are some documents
on anti-obesity effects of dandelion. Plants with inhibitory effects
against pancreatic lipase have potential to be used as an anti-obese
agent. The removal of fatty acids chains from triglycerides at the
positions of α and α’ is performed by pancreatic lipase, which produces
the lipolytic compounds. Inhibition of pancreatic lipase is an attractive
target for control the obesity[50]. Dandelion ethanol extract inhibited
the pancreatic lipase activity (IC50: 78.2 µg/mL) compared with orlistat
(IC50: 0.22 µg/mL), in in vitro condition[51,52]. The result of this study
was in accordance to the other study, in which young fresh dandelion
leave ethanol extract exhibited 90.2% pancreatic lipase inhibition
activity (IC50 = 78.2 µg/mL)[51]. However, the result of this study[51] was
in contrast to the other research that showed dandelion extract as a
weak pancreatic lipase inhibitory agent[53]. α-Glucosidase inhibitors
are used to develop the compounds for management of obesity and
related disorders. The inhibition of α-glucosidase suppresses the
cleavage of glucose from disaccharides and oligosaccharides[54].
Dandelion root and herb ethanol extract (100 µg/mL) exhibited
weak inhibitory effects against α-glucosidase activity (lower than
20%). Inhibition of angiotensin converting enzymes is important for
management of hypertension related to obesity[55]. Dandelion extract
showed weak xanthine oxidase, and ACE inhibitory effects[53]. The
results of above studies confirmed the acceptable inhibitory effects
of dandelion against pancreatic lipase activity.
Hypertrophy and hyperplasia of adipocytes are the other reasons
for obesity and identified by expanded adipose tissue, which is
associated with disruption in normal functions of adipose and
amplifying the secretome in the body. The systemic effects in the
liver lead to insulin resistance and hepatic lipid accumulation[56].
The positive role of dandelion roots and leaf on lipid metabolism,
adipogenesis and restoring the liver function is demonstrated.
Dandelion leaf and roots inhibited the lipogenesis and adipocyte
differentiation in 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes[30]. Dandelion root
extract (400, 500, 600 µg/mL) reduced the size and the number
of adipocytes and increased the lipolysis activity. Leaf extract
and crude powdered roots of dandelion reduced the triglyceride
accumulation in mature adipocytes and the effect of leaf extract was
higher than the root extracts[41]. Dandelion root hydro-alcoholic
extract (30 µg/mL) for 10 and 20 d showed anti-adipogenic effects
on human primary visceral pre-adipocytes (P10, P20 and A7 cells).
Dandelion extract induced apoptosis (76.91%-81.00%) and inhibited
the adipogenesis in P10 and P20 cell lines, which increased the
release of free glycerol and decreased the triglyceride accumulation
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and lipogenesis[28]. Therefore, dandelion had anti-obesity effects by
different mechanisms, which is associated with reduction in liver
5.3. Beneficial effects of dandelion on type 2 diabetes
Insulin resistance is the primary cause of hyperglycemia and
the main pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. There is an association
between high insulin resistance and hepatogenesis[57]. The anti-
diabetic effects of dandelion were the focus in some studies. The
result of a systemic review showed that among 20 animal and human
studies, only one diabetic rat study exhibited the hypoglycemic
effects of dandelion[58]. In other study, the anti-diabetic effect of 5
g dandelion leaf or root powder for 9 d was compared with placebo
on sixty type 2 diabetic patients. After taking the dandelion powder,
fasting blood glucose was monitored before and during the treatment
periods. The results showed that dandelion leaf and root powder
significantly reduced the fasting blood glucose levels of type 2
diabetic patients compared with placebo group[59].
Glucose homeostasis is affected by oxidative stress, as the result
of auto-oxidation and protein glycation[60]. High lipid peroxides
and reduction of oxidative defense are associated with β-cell
dysfunction and impair the insulin secretion[61]. Dandelion extracts
stimulated the release of insulin in pancreatic β-cells, and exhibited
the hypoglycemia effects. Treatment of rat insulinoma cells (INS-
1E cells) with 40 µg/mL dandelion or glibenclamide in the presence
of glucose (6.0 mM) increased the insulin secretion in INS-1E
cells compared to normal glucose (3.0 mM)[62]. Dandelion as one
ingredient of SR2004, clinically decreased the HbA1c, fasting blood
glucose, lipid profile, and total cholesterol in patients with type 2
diabetes mellitus[63]. Oral administration of dandelion can improve
the insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetic diseases
are associated with liver dysfunctions and improvement in diabetic
conditions is associated with correct liver functions.
5.4. Hypoglycemic effects of dandelion and improvement in
the oxidant condition in the body
Although there is a close relation between type 2 diabetes and
hyperglycemia, due to frequency of studies, this subject was
evaluated in a distinct part. There are studies which exhibited that
dandelion had hypoglycemic effects by improvement in the liver
and antioxidant enzymes. Feeding the hybrid grouper with basal
diet containing dandelion extract (0, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8%)
for 8 weeks had no significant impact on growth performance and
feed utilization. Dandelion extract reduced the whole body’s crude
lipid percent and increased the crude protein percent in muscle.
Dandelion extract increased the mRNA level of antioxidant enzymes
(catalase, GPx and GR) and improved the liver enzyme activities.
Reduction in whole body’s crude lipid was associated with reduction
in inflammatory condition in fish spleen and kidney. Furthermore,
dandelion extract increased the survival rate and total blood cell
count in CCL4 treated hybrids[64]. The results of this research in fish
exhibited that dandelion extract regulates lipid metabolism related
genes expression in fish, which is related to reduction in crude lipid
content in the whole body. The immunity status was improved in
dandelion treated fish by enhancing the antioxidant enzymes and
decreasing the inflammation in the kidney and spleen. Furthermore,
the plasma triglyceride levels were reduced in ICR mice after
consumption of dandelion ethanol extract which was attributed to the
pancreatic lipase inhibitory effects of flavonoids in dandelion[51,52].
Dandelion root and leaf (1%) had hypolipidemic and antioxidant
effects in rabbit fed high cholesterol diet. Dandelion root extract
reduced the AST, ALT, triglyceride and LDL-cholesterol and
increased the creatine kinase, and HDL-cholesterol. Dandelion leaf
and root extract significantly increased the GSH, GPX, SOD and
decreased the lipid peroxidation (TBARS), GST and formation
of atherosclerotic lesions. Dandelion root extract improved the
atherogenic index, and prevented the oxidative damage[65]. GSH
as the most abundant cellular thiol antioxidant enzyme protects the
liver from injuries[66]. Damage in body tissue or organs increases
the ALT and AST and lipid peroxidation in the body[67]. Dandelion
leaf extract had protective effect against liver injury in high fat diet
induced hepatic steatosis[68]. Steatosis is caused by triglyceride
accumulation in the liver[1]. C57BL/6 mice group fed a high
fat diet supplemented with dandelion leaf extract reduced lipid
accumulation, which was associated with reduction in liver and body
weights, triglyceride, total cholesterol, serum fasting glucose level
and insulin[68].
Fatty acids are metabolized by two pathways of mitochondrial
β-oxidation to produce ATP, or by esterification to produce
triglycerides and very low-density lipoproteins[69]. Reduction
in triglycerides and total cholesterol after dandelion leaf extract
supplementation exhibited the role of dandelion leaf extract in
controlling the fatty acid metabolism[68].
Plasma HDL acts as cholesterol translocator from peripheral tissue
to liver for catabolism. Therefore, dandelion extract improves the
liver enzymes and liver functions by inhibiting the pancreatic lipase,
decreasing the lipogenesis and reducing the inflammation in the
One important property of dandelion is its anti-inflammatory
and antioxidant effects. Dandelion methanol or aqueous extract
exhibited the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in LPS-
stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Nitric oxide (NO) production was
suppressed by dandelion methanol or aqueous extracts with IC50 of
79.9 and 157.5 µg/mL, respectively. Dandelion methanol extract
and aqueous extracts inhibited the MDA concentration. The GSH
content and anti-oxidant enzymes (catalase, SOD, GPx) were
increased after treatment by dandelion methanol or aqueous extracts
in a dose dependent manner. Catalase and SOD activities were
increased by methanol dandelion extract, which were higher than
its aqueous extract[70]. Among different kinds of dandelion extracts
(hot aqueous, aqueous, ethanol and methanol), hot aqueous and
methanol extracts of dandelion roots had higher antioxidant and anti-
inflammatory effects against LPS-induced macrophages, which was
associated with reduction in NO and MDA production. Luteolin and
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chicoric acid are responsible for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
effects[42]. Betulin, 18β,19β-epoxy-21β-hydroxylupan-3β-yl acetate,
and 24-oxoeupha-7,24-dien-3β-yl acetate showed inhibitory effects
against NO in LPS activated mouse peritoneal macrophages without
any cytotoxic effects as same as L-NMMA, suggesting its anti-
inflammatory effects[27].
Dandelion methanol extract (100 µg/mL) had anti-inflammatory effect
in LPS stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Dandelion
methanol extract at 50, 100 and 200 µg/mL had no effect on viability of
human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In addition, its methanol extract
reduced the adherence of LPS induced THP-1 cells to baseline and LPS
induced monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells [71].
The antioxidant activity of dandelion leaf extract (hydro-
ethanol 50% with formic acid) was higher than root extracts.
Dandelion extract suppressed ROS in HT-29 cells and LPS induced
inflammatory signaling NF-κB p65 and COX-2 activity. Dandelion
extract also inhibited LRR, PYD, caspase-1, NLRP3 inflammasome
mediated IL-1β, and IL-8. The inflammasome activation was
suppressed through scavenging ROS and inhibiting inflammation[31].
Dandelion leaf aqueous extract (100 and 200 µg/mL) exhibited
the anti-inflammatory effects in rat mammary micro-vascular
endothelial cells. Endothelia ICAM-1 was increased during the
inflammation, which regulates the adhesion of effector cells to
endothelium. Dandelion aqueous extract significantly inhibited
TNF-α and ICAM-1. In addition, dandelion aqueous extract reduced
the expression of TNF-α and ICAM-1 in Staphylococcus aureus
induced mastitis in mammary gland tissues[72]. Dandelion phenolic
extracts showed better antioxidant activity than that of flavonoids
extracts[73]. The extracts with high content of hydroxycinnamic acid
showed the highest radical scavenging effects in DPPH system and
higher anti-coagulant effects[21]. Dandelion ethanol extracts also
demonstrated protective effects against glutamate-induced oxidative
damage by inducing the Nrf2/heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) pathways
in HT22 cells. Moreover, dandelion ethanol extract (50-400 µg/mL)
had no significant effects on cell viability of HT22 cell lines. Its
ethanol extract increased the expression of HO-1 in a dose dependent
manner. Besides, dandelion ethanol extract increased the expression
of Nrf2 and inhibited the glutamate induced cytotoxicity and ROS
generation by inducing the HO-1 expression[74].
Taraxasterol inhibited the production of LPS induced TNF-α, IL-
1β and NF-κB activation in BV2 microglia cells. The formation of
lipid rafts was disrupted, which was associated with inhibition of
TLR4 translocation in lipid rafts. LXRα-ABCA1 signaling pathway
and cholesterol efflux were activated by taraxasterol (a pentacyclic
triterpene compound)[75]. Taraxasterol inhibited the iNOS and
COX-2 expression in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells[76], as well
as IL-1β-induced NO and PGE2 production in human osteoarthritic
chondrocytes[77]. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects of
dandelion play an important role in its hepatoprotective effects.
5.5. Effect of dandelion on blood properties
The main action of liver is purifying the blood. Dandelion is known
as blood purifier and its fresh leaves are rich in irons, so it is used in
salad or sometimes with egg and for anemia in Slovenia[78]. Injection
of dandelion ethanol extract (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) to adult
female (Balb/C) mice for 20 d significantly increased the number of
RBC, WBC, lymphocytes and hemoglobin level rate[79]. Therefore,
dandelion can be used as blood purifier by increasing the number of
6. Molecular mechanism of hepatoprotective effects of
The molecular mechanism of hepatoprotective effects of dandelion
is explained in Figure 2. AMPK as energy sensor and one important
metabolic pathway decreases fatty acid synthase and acetyl CoA
carboxylase (ACC) by suppressing SREBP-1c. AMPK is activated
upon depletion of ATP and adipocyte derivative hormones such as
adiponectin, resistin and leptin. Lipid accumulation was suppressed
by treatment with dandelion leaf ethanol extract, which was
associated with reduction in insulin resistance and lipid via AMPK
pathway. A significant increase in activation of liver adenosine
monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK) and muscle
protein was observed after treatment with dandelion leaf extract,
which inhibited the liver’s lipid accumulation and decreased the
insulin resistance. Glucose uptake and phosphorylation of AMPK
(pAMPK)/ACC increased in C2C12 myotubes after treatment with
dandelion extract[68].
Dandelion ethanol extract reduced the serum insulin, fasting
glucose level and homeostatic model assessment for insulin
resistance in high fat diet induced mice, which was associated with
improvement in insulin sensitivity.
Dandelion (Tops polysaccharides) reduced the CCL4 induced hepatic
lesions in mice, which was associated with reduction in NF-κB, iNOS,
COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-1β (regulatory inflammatory mediators) and
up-regulation of antioxidant enzymes and GSH level. The free radical
scavenging effects of Tops were exhibited by reduction in TBARS
concentration[43]. It has been found that NO production and iNOS
expression were inhibited by Top2 in a dose dependent manner[80].
Although COX-2 expression was inhibited by Top2[43], the results
of other study exhibited[80], COX-2 was not suppressed by Top
treatment. Top, especially Top2, inhibited the production of TNF-α
in LPS induced RAW 264.7 cells. NF-κB regulates the expression
of iNOS, COX-2, and TNF-α. Nrf2 and NF-κB are regulated by
MAPK and PI3K/Akt. Top suppressed the phosphorylation levels
of IκBα, p65, and Akt, while had no effect on ERK, JNK and p38,
which was associated with inhibition of inflammatory cytokines.
Tops initiated partly the cell recovery following the cell mortality by
tert-butyl hydroperoxide, which showed other relevant mechanisms
rather than PI3K/Akt and HO-1 were responsible for Tops initiated
cell recovery[80]. HO-1 expression was induced in RAW 264.7 cells
in the presence of Top1 and Top2. Nrf2 nuclear accumulation was
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Mohaddese Mahboubi et al./ Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2020; 10(1): 1-10
also induced in the presence of Tops in a dose dependent manner.
Tops regulated Nrf2 mediated HO-1 expression in RAW 264.7 cells
by PI3K/Akt signaling cascade. PI3K/Akt is the upstream signaling
molecules in modulation of NF-κB and Nrf2. Treatment of Akt and
JNK using LY294002 and SP600125 abrogated Top induced HO-1
protein expression[80]. The anti-oxidative effects of Tops were caused
through Nrf2 transcription factor and PI3K/Akt signaling pathway,
and led to production of HO-1 in RAW 264.7 cells. HO-1 exhibited
protective effects against oxidative and inflammatory stimuli.
Therefore, Tops inactivated the NF-κB pathway and reduced the
LPS induced inflammatory mediators. In addition, up-regulation of
Nrf2-mediated HO-1 increased the cyto-protective effects in murine
macrophages. Top mediated anti-inflammatory effect in RAW 264.7
cells was associated with reduction in iNOS and TNF-α expression
and up-regulation of HO-1 protein.
Dandelion methanol and water extracts inhibited iNOS gene
expression and NF-κB in a dose dependent manner. Nitric oxide
synthase controls the production of NO and the iNOS expression
and is regulated by TNF-κB[70]. Mononuclear cell adhesion is
caused by endothelial VCAM-1. Dandelion methanol extract
reduced the VCAM-1, pro-inflammatory cytokines and monocyte
chemo-attractant protein 1. LPS induced nuclear translocation of
NF-κB was suppressed by dandelion without any effect on MAPK
activation. Dandelion extract also reduced the VCAM-1 and MCP-1
mRNA, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 expression, and also inhibited the
phosphorylation of IκBα, which was associated with inhibition of
NF-κB nuclear translocation and suppression of NF-κB pathway[71].
7. Daily dose of dandelion in traditional medicine
Dandelion is used in “materia medica for the relief of famines” as
dietary and edible vegetable. It is used single or in combination with
other plants as granule, hard shelf capsule, tablet or injection for
heat relief, inflammation and detoxification of the body. In Chinese
Pharmacopeia, the typical daily dose of dandelion is 10-15 g[20]. The
daily dose of dandelion as a whole herb and its roots is 4-10 g raw
material equivalent[81]. Moreover, dandelion leaf of 3-5 g is used as a
diuretic and choleretic agent in British Herbal Pharmacopeia, while
its roots are used for hepatic function. The daily dose for leaf tincture
is 5-10 mL, which is used twice daily. For cholelithiasis or gall stone
disease, 4-10 g dried leaf or 2-8 g dried root is used three times a day.
Dandelion tea is prepared with 4-10 g dried leaf or 2-8 g dried root
in 150 mL boiling water for 10-150 min and one cup is used three
times a day. Five to ten mL tincture (1:5) used three times a day are
recommended[82]. In other text, 4-10 g/day crude dried leaves or 50 g
fresh dandelion are recommended. In USA, 3-5 mL dandelion tincture
is used three times a day. The LD50 of dandelion is greater than 20 g/kg
body weight[18]. So, dandelion is generally recognized for its safety and
is well tolerated without any negative effects in human[83].
Dandelion extract
Figure 2. Molecular mechanism of hepatoprotective effects of dandelion.
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8 Mohaddese Mahboubi et al./ Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2020; 10(1): 1-10
8. Conclusion
Dandelion is a popular hepatoprotective plant in different medicinal
systems. It is named piss-a-bed in old European texts and known as a
laxative agent. Dandelion is diuretic, and is used for kidney and liver
disorders[36,84]. Their actions are bitter tonic, and choleretic. The
diuretic effects of dandelion leaf are stronger than dandelion roots[54].
Dandelion is also used in wine with good taste[85]. Whole herb of
dandelion is recommended for appetite loss and dyspepsia. Its roots
had benefical effect on bile flow disturbance and urine obstruction
apart from appetite loss and dyspepsia[81]. Current animal studies
exhibited the efficacy of dandelion against the cytotoxic effects of
CCL4, ethanol and sodium dichromate by improvement of liver and
antioxidant enzymes. Improvement in liver function is associated
with restoring histopathology of the liver cells. Polysacharides
(Top1, Top2), flavonoids, phenolic, tannins, ascorbic acids, taraxol,
taraerol, laevulin, inulin and luteolin are chemical compounds that
are responsible for hepatoprotective effects of dandelion. Different
mechanisms may be responsible for hepatoprotective effects of
dandelion. Oligofructans as prebiotic compounds of dandelion
induce the growth of intestinal probiotics and inhibit the release
of LPS and FIAF and lipid accumulation in the body. Dandelion
has anti-obesity effects via inhibition of digestive enzymes, lipid
metabolism and adipogenesis. The lipogenesis effects of dandelion
are associated with reduction of inflammation in the body and liver
and improvement of insulin resistance and anti-oxidant condition.
Although different documents confirmed the hepatoprotective
effects of dandelion, preparing standard extracts of dandelion with
high contents of effective compounds and designing large clinical
studies with standard extracts are required for further evaluating the
hepatoprotective effects of dandelion.
Conflict of interest statement
There is no conflict of interest.
The authors are thankful for the manager of Tabib Daru
Pharmaceutical Company, Mr. Ali Reza Mazaheri for spiritual help.
Authors contributions
Mohaddese Mahboubi has written, revised and approved the final
manuscript and Mona Mahboubi helped to gather the information
from reliable sources.
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Background The use of conventional medical therapies has proven to have many setbacks and safety concerns that need further improvement. However, herbal medicine has been used for over 2000 years, and many studies have proven the use of herbs to be effective and safe. This article discussed the efficacy of different herbal products used in the management of obesity. To evaluate the efficacy of seven herbal-based weight loss products currently available on the Palestinian market, using in vitro assays to screen for antioxidants, anti-amylase, and anti-lipase effects for each product. Method Pancreatic lipase and salivary amylase inhibitory activities, as well as antioxidant analysis, were tested in vitro on a variety of herbal products. Then the IC 50 was measured for each test. Results The anti-lipase assay results, IC 50 values in (μg/mL) of each of the seven products (Product A, product B, product C, product D, product E, product F, and product G) were 114.78, 532.1, 60.18, 53.33, 244.9, 38.9, and 48.97, respectively. The IC 50 value for orlistat (Reference) was 12.3 μg/ml. On the other hand, the IC 50 value for alpha amylase inhibition of the seven products (Product A, product B, product C, product D, product E, product F, and product F) were 345.93, 13,803.84 (Inactive), 73.79, 130.91, 165.95, 28.18, and 33.11 μg/ml respectively, while acarbose (Reference) was 23.38 μg/ml. The antioxidant activity (IC 50 values) for the seven products (Product A, product B, product C, product D, product E, product F, and product F) were 1258.92, 707.94, 79.43, 186.20, 164.81, 17.53, and 10.47 μg/ml respectively. While the IC 50 value for Trolox was 2.70 μg/ml. Conclusion It can be concluded that the seven products showed varied anti-lipase, anti-amylase, and antioxidant effects. However, products F and G showed superiority in all categories.
Liver is an important metabolic organ with numerous functions in human body. Hepatitis is defined as the inflammation of the liver tissue, which could lead to acute liver failure, liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Corydalis tomentella Franch., a precious herb in China, is often used in the treatment of hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. In this study, 41 isoquinoline alkaloids and derivatives isolated by our lab from C. tomentella and 61 related targets were analyzed by network pharmacology. Their activities were further verified by cell assay evaluated for antitumor activity against HepG2 cells and molecular docking. The results confirmed that the alkaloids from C.tomentella had extensive hepatoprotective effects, and TNF‐α was the key target of hendersinate B methyl ester against acute liver damage by viral hepatitis and HCC, which provided a foundation for further in vivo studies.
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Herbs used in medicine should be grown under controlled and standardized conditions. Agricultural practices often induce changes to soil pH, which may affect migration of heavy metals in the environment, their accumulation in plant tissues and the concentration of medicinal ingredients. The aim of this work was to assess the influence of various soil pH on the biological parameters and uptake of manganese, copper and zinc by basil, dandelion and lemon balm. The soil analysis covered pH, organic matter content, bioavailable and total forms of investigated metals in soil. In plants cultivated in soil at pH covering the range 4.7–8.5 the concentrations of Mn, Cu and Zn were analyzed. Their mobility and availability were assessed by bioaccumulation factors, translocation factors and transfer coefficients. The seed germination and subsequent herbs growth were strongly dependent on soil pH for all investigated plant species. Photosynthetic efficiency at different pHs was positively correlated with uptake of Cu and Mn while Zn behaved in a more random way.
Ethnopharmacological relevance Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber ex F. H. Wigg.), as a garden weed grown globally, has long been consumed as a therapeutic herb. Its folkloric uses include treatments of digestive disorders (dyspepsia, anorexia, stomach disorders, gastritis and enteritis) and associate complex ailments involving uterine, liver and lung disorders. Aim of the study The present study aims to critically assess the current state of research and summarize the potential roles of dandelion and its constituents in gastrointestinal (GI) -protective actions. A focus is placed on the reported bioactive components, pharmacological activities and modes of action (including molecular mechanisms and interactions among bioactive substances) of dandelion products/preparations and derived active constituents related to GI protection. Materials and methods The available information published prior to August 2021 was reviewed via SciFinder, Web of Science, Google Scholar, PubMed, Elsevier, Wiley On-line Library, and The Plant List. The search was based on the ethnomedical remedies, pharmacological activities, bioactive compounds of dandelion for GI protection, as well as the interactions of the components in dandelion with the gut microbiota or biological regulators, and with other ingested bioactive compounds. The key search words were “Taraxacum” and “dandelion”. Results T. coreanum Nakai, T. mongolicum and T. officinale are the most commonly used species for folkloric uses, with the whole plant, leaves and root of dandelion being used more frequently. GI-protective substances of dandelion include taraxasterol, taraxerol, caffeic acid, chicoric acid, chlorogenic acid, luteolin and its glucosides, polysaccharides, inulin, and β-sitosterol. Dandelion products and derived constituents exhibit pharmacological effects against GI disorders, mainly including dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastritis, small intestinal ulcer, ulcerative colitis, liver diseases, gallstones, acute pancreatitis, and GI malignancy. The underlying molecular mechanisms may include immuno-inflammatory mechanisms, apoptosis mechanism, autophagy mechanism, and cholinergic mechanism, although interactions of dandelion's constituents with GI health-related biological entities (e.g., GI microbiota and associated biological modulators) or other ingested bioactive compounds shouldn't be ignored. Conclusion The review reveals some in vivo and in vitro studies on the potential of dandelion derived products as complementary and alternative medicines/therapeutics against GI disorders. The whole herb may alleviate some symptoms related GI immuno-inflammatory basing on the abundant anti-inflammatory and anti-oxide active substances. Dandelion root could be a nontoxic and effective anticancer alternative, owing to its abundant terpenoids and polysaccharides. However, research related to GI protective dandelion-derived products remains limited. Besides the need of identifying bioactive compounds/complexes in various dandelion species, more clinical studies are also required on the metabolism, bioavailability and safety of these substances to support their applications in food, medicine and pharmaceuticals.
Purpose: Although praziquantel (PZQ) has a wide use as an anti-schistosome agent, many of its imperfections and side effects have been reported in many studies. The current study aims to evaluate the curative effect of a natural dandelion extract (Taraxacum officinale) on schistosomiasis either alone or in combination with PZQ based on parasitological, immunological, histopathological and molecular investigations. Methods: Mice were experimentally infected with Schistosoma mansoni cercariae and then divided into four groups, Schistosoma spp.-infected untreated group (IC group), Schistosoma spp.-infected group of mice treated with dandelion (I-Dn group), Schistosoma spp.-infected group of mice treated with PZQ (I-PZQ group), and Schistosoma spp.-infected group of mice treated with both PZQ and dandelion (I-PZQ + Dn group). Treatment started 45 days' post-infection. Besides, non-infected, non-treated mice served as the negative healthy control group (HC group). Results: The present results indicated that dandelion administration significantly reduced the worm burden, ova number, and the number and diameter of hepatic granulomas as compared to the untreated infected group. The results also showed that the levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were significantly decreased in the combined treatment group (I-PZQ + Dn) as compared to the I-PZQ group. Administration of dandelion-only remarkably reduced AST and ALT activities associated with schistosomiasis. Moreover, hepatic DNA damage assessed by comet assay was significantly inhibited in the combined treated group compared to the infected untreated and PZQ treated groups. Conclusion: The results concluded that combined treatment of PZQ and dandelion extract improved immune response, decreased the number and diameter of granulomas, and inhibited DNA damage, indicating a reduction in liver fibrosis associated with schistosomiasis. The present study focused on the potential effect of dandelion as an adjunct medication for therapeutic properties of PZQ.
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Dried and crushed dandelion roots (Taraxacum officinale F. H. Wigg.) (TO) were used as a formulation additive (at the amount of 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 g 100 g−1 flour) to wheat bread. The farinographic properties of the dough and the physical and chemical properties of the bread were evaluated. It was found that the addition of dried flour caused a significant decrease in water absorption by the flour (1% and higher TO level), an increase in the development time (from 2% to 5% TO addition) and dough stability (3% and 4% TO level), and an increase in dough softening (4% and higher TO level). As the substitution of TO for wheat flour increased, there was a gradual decrease in loaf volume, an increase in specific weight and crumb hardness, and a darkening of the crumb color. The total polyphenol content increased linearly with the percentage increase of dried root additions TO from 0.290 to 0.394 mg GAE g−1 d.m., which translated into an increase in the antioxidant activity of the bread. It was found that dried crushed roots of Taraxacum officinale can be a recipe additive for wheat bread; however, due to their specific smell and bitter aftertaste, the level of this additive should not exceed 3 g 100 g−1 flour.
The study explored on the effects of dietary 0.4% dandelion extract on the growth performance, serum biochemical parameters, liver histology and the expression levels of immune and apoptosis-related genes in the head kidney and spleen of hybrid grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus♂ × Epinephelus fuscoguttatus♀) at different feeding period. The results showed that the weight gain rate (WGR) of the hybrid grouper were significantly increased at the second and fourth weeks (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in WGR at the eighth week (P > 0.05). Compared with the control group, dietary dandelion extracts supplementation improve lipid metabolism, reduce lipid accumulation in liver and maintain normal liver histology at the second and fourth weeks. At the end of the second week, the relative expression levels of antioxidant related genes (MnSOD, GPX and GR) in the head kidney of hybrid grouper fed with dandelion extract increased significantly; at the end of week 4 and week 8, the relative expression levels of antioxidant related genes other than MnSOD did not change significantly. However, in the spleen of hybrid grouper, the expression of these antioxidant genes showed the opposite trend. At the end of the eighth week, dietary dandelion extract supplementation significantly increased the expression of inflammatory response related genes in head kidney of hybrid grouper, but showed the opposite trend in spleen. In conclusion, the short-term (2 or 4 weeks) application of 0.4% dandelion extract in feed had the effects of growth improvement, liver protection and immune stimulation on hybrid grouper due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The beneficial effect of dandelion extract on hybrid grouper was time-dependent, and its action time on different immune organs of hybrid grouper was not synchronous.
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion), a common herbal medicine, is widely used in medical and food fields. However, most reports about the quality control (QC) of dandelion are single, they focus on the qualitative or quantitative aspect only. Therefore, the study aimed to evaluate the quality consistency of dandelion from both qualitative and quantitative aspects and to explore potential antioxidant components in combination with five-wavelength fusion fingerprint. At first, 18 batches of samples were separated and identified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, a five-wavelength fusion fingerprint was performed to avoid the one-sidedness of a single wavelength. The similarity analysis of fingerprint was performed by an equal weight ratio quantitative fingerprint method, which was proved to be a comprehensive method for further discrimination and holistic quality evaluation of dandelion. Furthermore, the in vitro antioxidant activity was studied, OPLS models were obtained for the analysis of fingerprint-efficacy relationships, which offered significant medicinal efficacy information for quality control. The results illustrated that the overall and inner quality information of dandelion can be found by the novel method, which provides a reliable and comprehensive reference for the quality assessment of dandelion and any other herbal medicines. © 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.
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Prebiotics are either natural or synthetic non-digestible (non-)carbohydrate substances that boost the proliferation of gut microbes. Undigested fructooligosaccharides in the large intestine are utilised by the beneficial microorganisms for the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids for their own growth. Although various food products are now recognized as having prebiotic properties, several others, such as almonds, artichoke, barley, chia seeds, chicory, dandelion greens, flaxseeds, garlic, and oats, are being explored and used as functional foods. Considering the benefits of these prebiotics in mineral absorption, metabolite production, gut microbiota modulation, and in various diseases such as diabetes, allergy, metabolic disorders, and necrotising enterocolitis, increasing attention has been focused on their applications in both food and pharmaceutical industries, although some of these food products are actually used as food supplements. This review aims to highlight the potential and need of these prebiotics in the diet and also discusses data related to the distinct types, sources, modes of action, and health benefits.
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Introduction: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is an edible and medicinal plant. We use the leaves, flowers and roots. The objective of this study is to show interest in the use of dandelion as a natural remedy in the primary treatment of serval pathologies. Methods : An ethnobotanical survey of 1000 people in the western region of Algeria was conducted using a questionnaire. Results: the obtained results from this study show that 60% of the population questioned prefer traditional medicine the majority of them use the plant in the medical field whose leaves and roots are most used. Infusion and maceration are the most usable methods for the preparation of the plant and administration is exclusively oral. Most users testify that the plant has significant efficacy with a percentage of 61%. Conclusion :All this information constitutes a database to perform other research in vivo or in vitro to value this planton the therapeutic level. Keywords : Taraxacum Officinale, traditional medicine, leaves, ethnobotanical study.
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the accumulation of fat in the liver in the absence of secondary causes. NAFLD is a multifactorial disease that results from the interaction of genetic predisposition and metabolic, inflammatory and environmental factors. Among these factors, dysregulation of gut microbiome has been linked to the development of fatty liver disease. The microbiome composition can be modified by dietary habits leading to gut microbiome dysbiosis, especially when a diet is rich in saturated fats, animal products and fructose sugars. Different species of bacteria in the gut metabolize nutrients differently, triggering different pathways that contribute to the accumulation of fat within the liver and triggering inflammatory cascades that promote liver damage. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the roles of gut microbiota in mediating NAFLD development and discuss possible gut microbiota-targeted therapies for NAFLD. We summarize experimental and clinical evidence, and draw conclusions on the therapeutic potential of manipulating gut microbiota to decrease the incidence and prevalence of fatty liver disease.
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Liver diseases have become a major global health challenge and may be triggered by several toxic chemicals, which include chemotherapeutic agents, thioacetamide, carbon tetrachloride, certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, and pathogenic microbes. Hence, safeguarding a healthy liver is vital for good health and well-being. Despite advances in pharmacology, the demerits associated with synthetic drugs have outshone the merits. Treatment of liver diseases based on modern medical principles is becoming ineffective and also associated with adverse effects of long-Term use, in addition to prohibitive costs in developing countries. Thus, exploring medicinal plants which are easily available and cheap and do not involve strenuous pharmaceutical production processes appears to have gained worldwide attention as alternative therapeutic agents for the diseases. Consequently, emphasis has been placed on folkloric herbs with high efficacy, low toxicity, and cost-effectiveness. In this paper, literature search was conducted using various databases such as Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge, and PubMed; we carried out a comprehensive review on existing information on some medicinal plants around the world with hepatoprotective prospects. Phytochemical compounds with hepatoprotective effects were also discussed, and finally, the future work in the field was also highlighted.
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Oxidative stress-mediated neuron damage is considered an important contributor to the pathogenesis and development of neurodegenerative diseases. Taraxacum officinale has been reported to possess antioxidant activities. However, whether it can protect neurons against oxidative damage and the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully determined. In the present study, we examined the neuroprotective effects of ethanol extracts of this plant (ETOW) on glutamate-induced oxidative stress in HT22 cells. Both cell viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) assays showed that ETOW effectively attenuated glutamate-induced cytotoxicity and ROS generation. Furthermore, our results revealed that ETOW increased the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and promoted the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). The inhibitory effects of ETOW on glutamate-stimulated cell toxicity and ROS production were partially reversed by tin protoporphyrin (SnPP), an HO activity inhibitor. Taken together, these results demonstrate that ETOW can protect HT22 cells against glutamate-induced oxidative damage by inducing the Nrf2/HO-1 pathways. Our study supports the idea that Taraxacum officinale Wigg. is a promising agent for preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
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Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a metabolic disorder characterized by raised blood glucose levels and peripheral insulin resistance. It is an increasingly prevalent global healthcare concern. Conventional treatment options are limited and in this context, there is renewed interest in evaluating the clinical and biological effects of traditional therapies. We assess the effect of a new herbal composition SR2004 on the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), fasting blood glucose, and lipid profiles of patients with T2DM. Methods: This is a single center, unblinded, prospective interventional study conducted in Israel. The composition SR2004 includes Morus alba, Artemisia dracunculus, Urtica dioica, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and Taraxacum officinale. One hundred and nineteen patients with diagnosed T2DM were enrolled and received SR2004 in addition to their usual medications. HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, and lipid profiles at 12 weeks were compared with baseline. In addition, the tolerability and side effects of SR2004 were recorded. Results: One hundred and three patients completed 12 weeks of follow-up (87%) and were included in the results. At 12 weeks, HbA1c reduced from 9.0% to 7.1% (22%; p < 0.0001), mean blood glucose decreased from 211 mg/dL to 133 mg/dL (37% reduction; p < 0.0001), mean total cholesterol to 185 mg/dL (13% reduction; p < 0.01) and mean serum triglycerides to160 mg/dL (a reduction of 40% from baseline; p < 0.001). Twelve patients (12%) had no response with SR2004 supplementation. In addition, of thirteen patients who took insulin at baseline, five required only oral hypoglycemics and another five reduced their daily insulin requirements by 30% at 12 weeks. Clinical observations included improvements in vasculopathy, including reversal of established retinopathic changes in two patients.No major adverse effects were observed, with minor abdominal symptoms reported in sixteen patients (16%). Conclusion: SR2004 supplementation significantly reduced HbA1c, blood glucose, and lipids with good tolerability and no observed adverse interactions with conventional medications. Some interesting findings relating to the reversal of microvascular phenomena warrant further research to elucidate the mechanisms of action of this novel composition.
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Chapter 11 Oxidative Stress as a Crucial Factor in Liver Associated Disorders: Potential Therapeutic Effect of Antioxidants Hanaa A. Hassan Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Al-Ula, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt Summary Points • Human diseases appear to be increased; part of this increase may be due to our frequent contact with chemicals and other environmental pollutants. • The use of synthetic drugs in controlling diseases result in undesirable side effects, especially when used for long terms. So, nowadays, there is uprising awareness for going back to nature and getting away as much as possible from synthetic drugs as a target for therapy of some diseases and as a protection from environmental pollutants. • Liver is a major vital organ of vertebrates and some other animals that plays a major role in metabolism with numerous functions in the human body, including regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. • It is affected by reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in oxidative stress, which plays a critical role in liver diseases and other chronic and degenerative disorders resulting impair cellular functions and render hepatocytes more susceptible to the effects of endogenous and exogenous peroxides. • Oxidative stress has been considered as a conjoint pathological mechanism, and it contributes to initiation and progression of liver injury and promotes several disorders of metabolic pathways and a depletion of antioxidant defense mechanisms. • The oxidative stress not only triggers hepatic damage by inducing irretrievable alteration of lipids, proteins, and DNA contents and more importantly, modulating pathways that control normal biological functions. • Recent trends suggest the use of several natural endogenous and exogenous antioxidants rather than synthetic ones in scavenging produced free radicals species tend to prefer compounds use that induced cellular damage to control and treating of various diseases, including liver. • Several natural antioxidants contained in edible or medicinal plants often possess strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging abilities as well as antiinflammatory action, which are also supposed to be the basis of other bioactivities and health benefits. • Supplementation with natural antioxidants may help in safe application in medicine as well as in many other aspects of nowadays life. This effect is probably through its various nutritional constituents due, at least in part, to their synergistic antioxidant capacity. • Therefore it is recommended that antioxidant-enriched diets should be added to diets regimens to develop a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of diseases associated with free radicals generation. However, the fractionation and bioavailability of the main constituents of the natural extracts which are responsible for the antioxidant activity will be an important area in the future.
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Background Atherosclerosis is a chronic vascular inflammatory disease. Since even low-level endotoxemia constitutes a powerful and independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis, it is important to find therapies directed against the vascular effects of endotoxin to prevent atherosclerosis. Taraxacum officinale (TO) is used for medicinal purposes because of its choleretic, diuretic, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties, but its anti-inflammatory effect on endothelial cells has not been established. Methods We evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of TO filtered methanol extracts in LPS-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by monocyte adhesion and western blot assays. HUVECs were pretreated with 100 μg/ml TO for 1 h and then incubated with 1 μg/ml LPS for 24 h. The mRNA and protein expression levels of the targets (pro-inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules) were analyzed by real-time PCR and western blot assays. We also preformed HPLC analysis to identify the components of the TO methanol extract. Results The TO filtered methanol extracts dramatically inhibited LPS-induced endothelial cell–monocyte interactions by reducing vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. TO suppressed the LPS-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB, whereas it did not affect MAPK activation. Conclusions Our findings demonstrated that methanol extracts of TO could attenuate LPS-induced endothelial cell activation by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway. These results indicate the potential clinical benefits and applications of TO for the prevention of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s12906-017-2022-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The study investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with dandelion extracts (DE) on growth performance, feed utilization, body composition, serum biochemical, liver histology, immune-related gene expression and CCl 4 resistance of hybrid grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus♂ × Epinephelus fuscoguttatus♀). A basal diet supplemented with DE at 0% (diet 0%), 0.1% (diet 0.1%), 0.2% (diet 0.2%), 0.4% (diet 0.4%) and 0.8% (diet 0.8%) were fed to hybrid grouper for 8 weeks. The results revealed that dietary DE had not a significant impact on growth performance and feed utilization (P > 0.05), but it could decrease the percent of crude lipids in whole body and increase the percent of crude protein in muscle (P < 0.05). Dietary DE increased the mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes (catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase) and reduced inflammatory factor in the spleen and head-kidney of fish (P < 0.05), but reduced the expression of the liver antioxidant gene except for glutathione reductase (P < 0.05). Dietary supplementation with 0.2%–0.4% DE could effectively improve liver health. After injection of CCL 4 by 72 h, fish fed Diet0.2% and Diet0.4% showed regular hepatocyte morphology while fish fed Diet 0%, Diet 0.1% and Diet 0.8% showed hepatocyte damage. Higher survival rate and total blood cell count was observed in fish fed 0.1%–0.4% dietary DE (P < 0.05). In conclusion, DE could be used as a functional feed additive to enhance liver function of farmed fish. The best level of it should be between 0.2% and 0.4%.
Taraxaci Herba (Taraxacum mongolicum and other species) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and dietary application for a long history in China, and Taraxacum officinale has been applied in medicinal and food use in other regions and cultures around the globe. In this review, the phytochemical constituents of dandelion (particularly from T. mongolicum and T. officinale) were summarized. Recent published health benefits of dandelion, such as anti-oxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, blood sugar and lipids regulation and hepatoprotective activity, as well as its safety data were highlighted. The limited human clinical study and pharmacokinetics information lead to the thought that well-designed human clinical study should be the focus and opportunity for the future research area to truly understand efficacy function and health benefit of dandelion for its application in medicine and health food area.
Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 is a probiotic strain isolated from human breast milk. Animal studies reported that BNR17 inhibited increases in body weight and adipose tissue weights. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antiobesity effects of BNR17 in humans. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 90 volunteers aged 20-75 years with body mass index (BMI) from 25 to 35 kg/m2 were randomized to receive a placebo, low-dose BNR (BNR-L, 109 CFU/day), or high-dose BNR (BNR-H, 1010 CFU/day) for 12 weeks. Body weight, BMI, waist and hip circumferences, waist-to-hip ratio, abdominal adipose tissue areas, body fat mass, lean body mass, and biochemical parameters were assessed at the beginning and end of the trial. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was significantly decreased in the BNR-H group compared with the placebo group (P = .038). Difference of VAT areas of the BNR-H group compared with the placebo group after 12-week consumption of BNR17 was significant (-21.6 cm2, P = .012). Waist circumferences were significantly decreased in both the BNR-L and BNL-H groups (P = .045 and .012, respectively) compared with the baseline values, but not in the placebo group. Biochemical parameters were not significantly different among the groups. These findings suggest that daily consumption of BNR17 may contribute to reduced visceral fat mass in obese adults.
This chapter considers ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between plants and people. It includes study of the uses of plants by humans and the relationship between humans and vegetation. In addition, it examines our dependence on plants and our effects on them. The chapter aims to understand the many ways weeds can be used and to encourage thought about the importance of doing research to find uses for weeds.