Analysis Reveals 239 Chemical Constituents and 208 Metabolites in Lingyang Qingfei Pills


In a recent study, researchers used a novel ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method to analyze Lingyang Qingfei pills (LQPs) chemical constituents and metabolites.

Lingyang Qingfei pills (LQPs), a traditional Chinese medicine, have long been celebrated for their effectiveness in treating various ailments, including xerostomia, sore throat, bronchiolitis, and pneumonia. Despite its extensive use, the phytochemical composition of LQP has remained enigmatic, hindering efforts to establish quality control and comprehend their mechanisms of action (1).

Chinese herbal medicine selection on calligraphy background | Image Credit: © zhikun sun -

Chinese herbal medicine selection on calligraphy background | Image Credit: © zhikun sun -

A recent study published in Journal of Chromatography A explored the phytochemical composition of LQP (1). In this study, a team of researchers demonstrated a comprehensive analysis of LQP's chemical constituents and metabolites using an advanced analytical technique.

The study introduced a novel method based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) with Quadrupole-Exactive orbital ion trap mass spectrometry to investigate the in vitro and in vivo chemical composition of LQPs. With this method, the research team characterized 239 constituents, of which 37 were accurately confirmed using reference standards (1). The comprehensive chemical profile included flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, anthraquinones, organic acids, phenylpropanoids, and more (1). These findings mark a significant milestone, providing a much-needed reference for the chemical composition of LQP, which has remained elusive for centuries (1).

The study delved into the metabolism of LQPs in rats, unraveling a complex network of reactions. A total of 208 xenobiotics were identified in various biological samples, including rat plasma, bile, urine, and feces. Among these, 71 were classified as absorbed prototypes, whereas 137 were metabolites resulting from biotransformation processes (1). The observed metabolic reactions encompassed hydrolysis, hydroxylation, methylation, glycosylation, sulfation, and mixed-mode transformations, shedding light on the intricate processes occurring within the body when LQP is administered.The team also identified 12 new metabolites, previously unknown in the context of LQPs (1).

The accurate analysis of LQPs has important implications for both traditional Chinese medicine and modern healthcare. With a more comprehensive understanding of LQP's chemical constituents and their metabolic fates, researchers and healthcare professionals can develop improved quality control measures, ensuring the safety and efficacy of this traditional remedy (1).

This article was written with the help of artificial intelligence and has been edited to ensure accuracy and clarity. You can read more about our policy for using AI here.


(1) Zhen, T.; Wang, H.; Li, C.; et al. Characterization of chemical ingredients and in rats metabolic profiling of Lingyang Qingfei pills via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography combined with Quadrupole-Exactive Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry. J. Sep. Sci. 2023, 46 (19), 2200793. DOI: 10.1002/jssc.202200793

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