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    Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) is an immune-boosting formulation of ten medicinal herbs. It is used clinically in East Asia to boost the human immune functions. The active factors in JTT have not been clarified. But, existing evidence suggests that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-like factors contribute to the activity. To examine this possibility, JTT was subjected to a series of analyses, including high resolution mass spectrometry, which suggested the presence of structural variants of LPS. This finding opened a possibility that JTT contains immune-boosting bacteria. As the first step to characterize the bacteria in JTT, 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing was carried out for Angelica sinensis (dried root), one of the most potent immunostimulatory herbs in JTT. The sequencing revealed a total of 519 bacteria genera in A. sinensis. The most abundant genus was Rahnella, which is widely distributed in water and plants. The abundance of Rahnella appeared to correlate with the immunostimulatory activity of A. sinensis. In conclusion, the current study provided new pieces of evidence supporting the emerging theory of bacterial contribution in immune-boosting herbs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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    Diego Montenegro, Kriti Kalpana, Christine Chrissian, Ashutosh Sharma, Anna Takaoka, Maria Iacovidou, Clifford E Soll, Olga Aminova, Adriana Heguy, Lisa Cohen, Steven Shen, Akira Kawamura. Uncovering potential 'herbal probiotics' in Juzen-taiho-to through the study of associated bacterial populations. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2015 Feb 1;25(3):466-9

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    PMID: 25547935

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