Cassia seeds have a history of use in Chinese medicine spanning thousands of years, and rhein is a phytonutrient commonly found in Cassia seeds. Rhein possesses a wide range of pharmacological effects, including hepatoprotective (liver protection), nephroprotective (kidney protection), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and antibacterial properties. Multiple studies have demonstrated the kidney-protective effects of rhein both in vitro and in vivo. It serves as a potent inhibitor of renal fibrosis, significantly improving glomerular hypertrophy (the overgrowth of tiny kidney filtering tubes) and reducing glomerulosclerosis (hardening of these tubes) while preventing apoptosis of renal tissue cells. Rhein also contributes to reducing intestinal permeability, protecting intestinal mucosa, improving kidney function, and alleviating inflammation. Furthermore, it can lower glucose levels, increase insulin secretion, enhance glucose tolerance, and aid in obesity prevention.

Yan-Xi Zhou, Wei Xia,Wei Yue,Cheng Peng, Khalid Rahman,and Hong Zhang

Central Laboratory, Shanghai Seventh People’s Hospital, Shanghai 200137, China
Key Laboratory of Standardization of Chinese Herbal Medicines of Ministry of Education, Pharmacy College,
Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, China
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Shanghai Seventh People’s Hospital, Shanghai 200137, China
School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 578107, 10 pages

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