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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 349807, 11 pages
Research Article

Administration of a Decoction of Sucrose- and Polysaccharide-Rich Radix Astragali (Huang Qi) Ameliorated Insulin Resistance and Fatty Liver but Affected Beta-Cell Function in Type 2 Diabetic Rats

1Institute of Pharmacology, Yang Ming University, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2Division of Herbal Drugs and Natural Products, National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taipei 112, Taiwan
3Division of Medicinal Chemistry, National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taipei 112, Taiwan

Received 2 November 2010; Accepted 16 December 2010

Copyright © 2011 Yi-Chen Juan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current investigation attempted to confirm the beneficial actions of a chemically characterized Radix Astragali decoction (AM-W) against type 2 diabetic (T2D) Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Using a case/control design, after 2 months of treatment with AM-W (500 mg/kg, daily i.p.) in T2D rats therapeutic outcomes were compared. Sucrose and Astragalus polysaccharides (ASPs) were shown to exist in nearly equal proportions in AM-W. Body weight loss, an improvement in insulin sensitivity, and an attenuation of fatty liver after AM-W administration in T2D rats were evident. Surprisingly, blood sugar, beta-cell function, and glucose tolerance in T2D rats did not improve with AM-W treatment. Further investigation indicated the deleterious effects of the addition of sucrose (100 and 500 μg/mL) and APSs (500 μg/mL) on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and viability, respectively. In conclusion, a proper administration dosage and a reduction in the sucrose content are keys to maximizing the merits of this herb.