Author(s): Sun H, Zhang A, Wang X
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Abstract Systems biology has significantly increased in recent years. Its method and design resemble those of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is a unique medical system that assisted the ancient Chinese in dealing with disease. The technology platforms of systems biology, especially metabolomics, could provide more rapid, direct, concise and effective methods for disease research. In particular, metabolomics could provide useful tools for exploring the essence of Chinese medicine syndromes (CMS) disease, facilitating personalized TCM. Moreover, metabolomics has the potential to enable mapping of early biochemical changes in disease and hence provide an opportunity to develop predictive biomarkers that can trigger earlier interventions. A future hope for the metabonomic approach is the identification of biomarkers that are able to highlight individuals likely to suffer from disease and enable early diagnosis of the disease or the identification of those at risk, and it will help to understand CMS and modernize TCM. In this review, we focus on the key role of robust metabolomic approaches as an aid for traditional herbal medicine; particular attention will be paid to the past successes in applications of metabonomics to contribute to low-molecular-weight metabolites (biomarkers) discovery in TCM research. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This article was published in Phytother Res
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta