Investigation of Chinese herbal medicine in treatment of metabolic syndrome
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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk factors including central obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic states. It is also a precursor of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Research continues to uncover the mechanical links of the pathogenesis of MetS as well as to discover new drugs to target the multiple metabolic and haemodynamic abnormalities of MetS. The focus of this thesis is on the investigation of two Chinese herbal medicines, Sugarid and SK0504, in the treatment of MetS and T2DM induced in C57BL/6J mice by high fat diet (HFD) feeding with or without streptozotocin (STZ) injection. The results described in Chapter 3 show that T2DM was induced in mice fed HFD when their blood glucose levels rose after the STZ injection. Treatment with a Chinese herbal product, Sugarid did not show any significant improvements of body and visceral fat weights, glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and serum and liver lipid parameters in either MetS and T2DM models of mice. Therefore, the findings from this study do not support the notion of Sugarid being a potential drug in treatment of MetS and T2DM. The purpose of Chapter 4 is to investigate the effects and mechanisms of a new herbal formula, SK0504 in HFD fed mice. Treatment with SK0504 showed significant improvements of visceral fat weight, insulin sensitivity and some biochemical parameters. The findings of this study showed potential beneficial effects of SK0504 on MetS by its ability to target central obesity, insulin resistance and hyperlipidaemia. However, the hypothesised effects of SK0504 in targeting the multiple metabolic abnormalities of MetS were not obtained. The last chapter outlines possible avenues for further research in order to confirm any implications of the experimental findings reported in this thesis.
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