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Glycyrrhiza glabra, Glabridin and GutGard®

A recent call for a general warning for Glycyrrhiza glabra has been published due to undesirable glycyrrhizin side effects[1]. The levels of glycyrrhizin present in GutGard® are less than 0.5%. The glycyrrhizin levels present in extracts will become increasingly important for sponsors who sell, practitioners who prescribe, and consumers/patients who take liquorice for gastrointestinal conditions.

Glycyrrhizin uptake.

The Glycyrrhizin levels of extracts can affect different individuals in different ways. If a particular patient or consumer has a slower than average gastro-intestinal transit time*, the available Glycyrrhizin uptake can be significantly greater, thereby increasing the likelihood of the pseudo- aldosterone symptoms. This renders the European Union daily upper limit for glycyrrhizin of 100mg inadequate. Given that many consumers/patients with gastrointestinal symptoms may have a slower than average transit time, this is an important point to consider when offering/prescribing
Glycyrrhiza glabra extracts to these individuals. If consumers/patients have slightly elevated blood pressure, or slower gastrointestinal transit times, then the lowest Glycyrrhizin-containing extracts available are far more suitable.

When choosing a
Glycyrrhiza glabra to formulate with, the flavone activity of this herbal medicine is an important feature. Glabridin, the flavonoid standardised to >3.5% in GutGard®, has been shown to inhibit Helicobacter pylori in vitro, a strong determining factor for the presentation of gastrointestinal symptoms. It is estimated that Helicobacter pylori is prevalent in 20-50% of middle-aged adults globally, and up to 80% in the lower socio-economic populations. Glabridin may inhibit DNA gyrase (the enzyme necessary for Helicobacter pylori genomic stability maintenance, DNA replication, transcription, and recombination)[2]. This marks a standardised Glabridin-containing extract as highly desirable to assist with increasing the overall efficacy and positive consumer/patient outcomes.

For the full technical document which includes more information, and a convenient table for formulating and comparing Glycyrrhizin content, email the friendly and knowledgeable team at Network Nutrition now to receive your copy.

*The time it takes for food to travel from the mouth to the anus. The average transit time is said to be 12-24 hours, but can vary widely dependent on diet, health status and individuality[3]

[1] Hesham, R., Licorice Abuse: Time to send a warning message. Ther Adv Endo and Metab. 2012;3(4):125-138.[2] Asha, M., et al., In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of a flavonoid rich extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra and its probably mechanisms of action. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 145 (2013) 581-586.[3]