Ulcerative Colitis and Atractylodes

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic condition characterized by long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the inner lining of the large intestine (colon). This condition is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which can cause severe discomfort and a range of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding. The exact cause of UC is unclear, but it's believed to result from an abnormal immune response. Treatments often aim to reduce inflammation, manage symptoms, and prevent flare-ups.

Atractylodes Macrocephala and Ulcerative Colitis:
Recent research has shed light on the potential benefits of polysaccharides from Atractylodes Macrocephala Koidz. (AMP) in managing UC. Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates found in certain plants and foods, known for their health-promoting properties. The study investigated how AMP could ameliorate UC induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS), a chemical used to induce colitis in experimental settings.

Key Findings:
- AMP was found to ameliorate UC in a dose-dependent manner, meaning the benefits increased with higher doses.
- Administration of AMP led to a reversal in the disturbed composition of gut microbiota caused by DSS.
- AMP helped restore disturbed fecal and plasma metabolites, including short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), amino acids, bile acids, and cadaverine.

Deeper Insights:
The gut microbiota, a community of microorganisms living in our intestines, plays a pivotal role in our health. Disruptions in gut microbiota, particularly the metabolites they produce like SCFAs and secondary bile acids, can contribute to diseases like UC. The study delved into the effects of AMP on gut microbiota and its metabolites, a crucial aspect often overlooked in polysaccharide research.

The analysis revealed that AMP not only modulated the production of SCFAs by gut microbiota but also influenced various metabolic processes, demonstrating a broader impact on both gut microbiota and host metabolism. A multiscale, multifactorial network was constructed to visualize the mechanisms through which AMP exerts its effects.

The study paints a promising picture of AMP's potential in managing UC, showcasing its ability to modulate gut microbiota and a wide array of metabolites, thus providing a holistic approach to treatment. This work adds a new dimension to understanding how polysaccharides, like those from Atractylodes Macrocephala, can be harnessed to combat diseases, marking a significant stride toward integrating natural remedies in the fight against chronic conditions like UC.


Wang, Ruijun, et al. "The metabolism of polysaccharide from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz and its effect on intestinal microflora." Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 (2014).