Linhua Zhao

Linhua Zhao

Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China

Title: The efficacy of a Chinese herbal formula GQD on type 2 diabetes and its mechanism


Linhua Zhao has completed her PhD from China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in the year 2011. She is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Endocrinology department, and a Researcher focusing on the efficacy and mechanism of TCM on diabetes and diabetic kidney disease. She is the Secretary of dose-response relationship study of Chinese Medicine Preparatory Committee of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies and permanent member of Chinese Medicine research. She has published 45 papers and has attended many national projects in China about diabetes and TCM.


As one of the most common chronic non-communicable diseases, diabetes is a serious hazard to human health. The morbidity of diabetes rose rapidly in recent years, yet the control of it is not satisfying. The gut microbiota may play a vital role in obesity and diabetes development. Berberine, the major pharmacological component of a Chinese herb Coptis chinensis (Huang-Lian) originally used to treat bacterial diarrhea, showed clinical efficacy in treating diabetes in a multi-centered, randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Gegen Qinlian Decoction (GQD), a standardized berberine-containing Chinese herbal formula, has been a treatment for diarrhea since the east Han Dynasty in China. Subsequently, GQD has been found to have potentially beneficial effects in the treatment of diabetes in clinical observations and animal experiments. Based on this, we united several research institutions to explore the effect on the early stage diabetic patients through multi-centered, randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial and gut microbiota research. The results showed that GQD treatment provided clinically meaningful and dose-dependent reductions in FBG and HbA1c compared with placebo. Structural alterations of gut microbiota induced by GQD are associated with the anti-diabetic effects of GQD. At the same time, a practical application of the network-based approach is illustrated in GQD, and the anti-diabetic activity of the herbal ingredients from GQD has been identified. These data shows that the Chinese herbal formula is effective for glycemic control, making it a promising candidate for diabetes management. Further deep study should be carried out to explore its action mechanism and to find some new biological targets and markers.

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