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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 402159, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/402159
Review Article

Recent Highlights of Metabolomics in Chinese Medicine Syndrome Research

National TCM Key Laboratory of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Key Laboratory of Metabolomics and Chinmedomics, Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Heping Road 24, Harbin 150040, China

Received 5 August 2013; Accepted 2 October 2013

Academic Editor: Wei Jia

Copyright © 2013 Ai-hua Zhang 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.

Abstract

Chinese medicine syndrome (CMS, “ZHENG” in Chinese) is an understanding of the regularity of disease occurrence and development as well as a certain stage of a comprehensive response of patients with body condition. However, because of the complexity of CMS and the limitation of present investigation method, the research for deciphering the scientific basis and systematic features of CMS is difficult to go further. Metabolomics enables mapping of early biochemical changes in disease and hence provides an opportunity to develop predictive biomarkers. Moreover, its method and design resemble those of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which focuses on human disease via the integrity of close relationship between body and syndromes. In the systemic context, metabolomics has a convergence with TCM syndrome; therefore it could provide useful tools for exploring essence of CMS disease, facilitating personalized TCM, and will help to in-depth understand CMS. The integration of the metabolomics and CMS aspects will give promise to bridge the gap between Chinese and Western medicine and help catch the traditional features of CMS. In this paper, particular attention will be paid to the past successes in applications of robust metabolomic approaches to contribute to low-molecular-weight metabolites (biomarkers) discovery in CMS research and development.