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Curr Med Chem. 2017 Apr 14. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666170414164607. [Epub ahead of print]

Anti-fatigue effects of active ingredients from traditional Chinese medicine: a review.

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College of Food and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640. China.


Fatigue, a phenomenon which is believed to be caused by body exercise, can lead to the failure of predetermined exercise intensity maintenance and sport ability declination. The usage of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of fatigue has long been practiced in clinical and showed significant effects. This article covers related literatures in recent years and sorts the effective ingredients from TCM for treating fatigue into a few categories including alkaloids, saponins, polysaccharides, polyphenols, polypeptide, terpene, proteins and other active ingredients. Research status, sources, models, efficacy and mechanisms of active ingredients and their monomer in the treatment of fatigue are discussed. Pharmacological research shows that active ingredients of polysaccharide can significantly improve body's resistance through promoting glycogen synthesis, reducing sports metabolites and increasing hypoxia tolerance; Alkaloids has been proved to be effective in promoting the reserving of various glucogen substances, improving exercise endurance and speeding up the metabolism of body's urea nitrogen in mice; With the increase of glycosides amount, up goes the sport endurance, liver glycogen content and the ability of clear lactate index in mice, indicating that saponin has clear, dose-dependent anti-fatigue effect; Polyphenols also have functions of resisting fatigue, where they reduce free radicals accumulated and thus slow down the rapid declination of exercise capacity when doing sports; There are other active ingredients of TCM that have biological activities, like some proteins, anthraquinones, terpenes, unsaturated fatty acid monomer compounds; And research has found that tonic medicine can promote the elimination of fatigue and improve athletic ability.


Traditional Chinese medicine; active ingredients; fatigue; natural products; treatment.

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