Kudzu (P. Radix) improves intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by alcohol. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of Puerariae radix extract on the increasing intestinal permeability in rat with alcohol-induced liver injury.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):207-14. Epub 2009 Sep 6. PMID: 19735712
AIM OF THE STUDY: Puerariae radix, as an edible plant, has been used for centuries in China to treat alcohol-related problems, including alcoholic liver disease (ALD). However, the mechanisms of Puerariae radix on the liver-protective effect have not been fully explored. Because an increased intestinal permeability is a major factor for ALD, the present study investigates whether Puerariae radix extract (PRE) inhibits ALD through prevention of alterations in intestinal permeability. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used an animal model of chronic alcohol-induced liver injury that is associated with increased intestinal permeability. Male Wistar rats were given increasing alcohol doses from 2 g/kg/d to 8 g/kg/d and alcohol plus PRE via intragastric feeding for 10 weeks. Chronic alcohol exposure caused an elevation in serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as well as aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels and a decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and hepatic damages including steatosis, inflammation, and necrosis, determined by serum enzymatic analysis and morphological analysis, respectively. The damage to small intestine induced by chronic alcohol treatment was examined by intestinal histological, immunohistochemical analysis, and permeability assays. RESULTS: Alcohol-induced hepatic pathological changes, elevations in ALT and AST, and a decrease in SOD activity were significantly inhibited in PRE treated animals. The inhibitory effect of PRE on alcohol-induced liver injury was associated with suppression of alcohol induced the increase of intestinal permeability. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that this beneficial effect of PRE on ALD could be partly explained by improving intestinal barrier dysfunction induced by alcohol.