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Mitochondrial Function as a Potential Tool for Assessing Function, Quality and Adulteration in Medicinal Herbal Teas

Woodley, SB; Mould, RR; Sahuri-Arisoylu, M; Kalampouka, I; Booker, A; Bell, JD; (2021) Mitochondrial Function as a Potential Tool for Assessing Function, Quality and Adulteration in Medicinal Herbal Teas. Frontiers in Pharmacology , 12 10.3389/fphar.2021.660938. Green open access

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Abstract

Quality control has been a significant issue in herbal medicine since herbs became widely used to heal. Modern technologies have improved the methods of evaluating the quality of medicinal herbs but the methods of adulterating them have also grown in sophistication. In this paper we undertook a comprehensive literature search to identify the key analytical techniques used in the quality control of herbal medicine, reviewing their uses and limitations. We also present a new tool, based on mitochondrial profiling, that can be used to measure medicinal herbal quality. Besides being fundamental to the energy metabolism required for most cellular activities, mitochondria play a direct role in cellular signalling, apoptosis, stress responses, inflammation, cancer, ageing, and neurological function, mirroring some of the most common reasons people take herbal medicines. A fingerprint of the specific mitochondrial effects of medicinal herbs can be documented in order to assess their potential efficacy, detect adulterations that modulate these effects and determine the relative potency of batches. Furthermore, through this method it will be possible to assess whole herbs or complex formulas thus avoiding the issues inherent in identifying active ingredients which may be complex or unknown. Thus, while current analytical methods focus on determining the chemical quality of herbal medicines, including adulteration and contamination, mitochondrial functional analysis offers a new way of determining the quality of plant derived products that is more closely linked to the biological activity of a product and its potential clinical effectiveness.

Type: Article
Title: Mitochondrial Function as a Potential Tool for Assessing Function, Quality and Adulteration in Medicinal Herbal Teas
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2021.660938
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.660938
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Woodley, Mould, Sahuri-Arisoylu, Kalampouka, Booker and Bell. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharma and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128546
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