Intestinal absorption and bioavailability of traditional Chinese medicines: A review of recent experimental progress and implication for quality control

Jing Yi Liu, Kai Fai Lee, Cho Wing Sze, Yao Tong, Sydney Chi Wai Tang, Tzi Bun Ng, Yan Bo Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
Experimental studies on the pharmacokinetics of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) have achieved great progress in recent years. This review aims to summarize the progress made on intestinal absorption and bioavailability of TCMs, and proposes the application of intestinal absorption assays as new tools for the quality and safety control of these medicines.

Key findings
Since only the absorbed constituents may produce possible therapeutic effect (except those that directly target the digestive tract), intestinal absorption is of utmost importance for the drug action of TCMs, which are usually taken orally. Meanwhile, complicated drug interactions may occur among the multiple ingredients in a herbal mixture. In this regard, the intestinal permeability assays not only provide useful pharmacokinetic data of TCMs, but have potential applications for quality and safety control. Moreover, knockout animals, 2/4/A1 in-vitro cell model and physiologically-based in-silico models based on the online TCM database can be quite useful for the prediction of absorption and bioavailability of TCMs.

Summary
A variety of in-vivo, in-vitro, in-situ and in-silico models for predicting the intestinal absorption and bioavailability can be applied to study the herbal interactions and screen appropriate biomarkers for the quality and safety control of TCMs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-633
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Volume65
Issue number5
Early online date5 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • bioavailability
  • herbal interactions
  • intestinal absorption
  • quality control
  • traditional Chinese medicine

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