Analysis of Trace Elements in Chinese Therapeutic Foods and Herbs

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Xu, Hong and Xu, Hou-En (2009) Analysis of Trace Elements in Chinese Therapeutic Foods and Herbs. American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 37 (4). pp. 625-638. ISSN 0192-415X


The bioactive elements in Chinese therapeutic foods and herbs that are frequently consumed by people in both the East and West are analyzed. These elements in their appropriate dosage range are considered to be beneficial to health. Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) were applied to determine the concentrations of various elements. Twenty-two Chinese therapeutic foods and herbs, resourced fromthe traditional high therapeutic quality areas or provinces were selected. Bioactive analysis focused on Lanthanum (La), Strontium (Sr), Zinc (Zn) and Selenium (Se), especially in the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia and its associate disorders. The higher elemental concentration herbs, La in: Rhizoma Gastrodiae Elatae, Fructus Crataegi and Herba Hedyotidis Diffusae. Sr in: Radix Puerariae and Folium Ginkgo Biloba. Zn in: Flos Carthami Tinctorii and Fructus Crataegi. Se in: Flos Lonicerae Japonicae and Portulaca Oleracea. The results mainly showed that Chinese herbs which are also therapeutic foods may be used as nutritional supplements for preventing and treating elemental deficiency, e.g., hyperlipidemia. More attention in this regard should be paid to herbs that contain La and are traditionally used for regulating cardiovascular disorders. The knowledge of the effects and concentrations of bioactive elements in foods and herbs could guide the selection of Chinese herbs in clinical practice in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicine theories. Further studies should also be considered in relation to Sr, Zn and blood regulating herbs, which could prove to be beneficial.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1142/S0192415X09007119
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Historical > FOR Classification > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Historical > SEO Classification > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Keywords ResPubID17437, hyperlipidemia, lanthanum (la), strontium (sr), zinc (zn), selenium (se)
Citations in Scopus 21 - View on Scopus
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