Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to produce endotoxic shock by triggering systemic inflammatory responses. Here, we evaluated the protective effects of three fermented/re-fermented herbs, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Massa Medicata Fermentata, and Dolichoris Semen, in an LPS-mediated inflammatory insult, either individually in vitro using RAW264.7 cells or in combination in in vivo using rats. In general, each of the fermented herbs showed appreciable in vitro anti-inflammatory activity, although the degree of this activity varied with the herb used. Moreover, a mixture of fermented herbal extracts in combination with probiotics significantly attenuated the blood endotoxin and CRP levels, as well as the gut permeability, and significantly augmented the intestinal Lactobacillus spp. colonisation in LPS-treated rats. However, these effects were not observed following the administration of the corresponding mixture of unfermented herbal extracts. Thus, our results highlight the beneficial impacts of the use of fermented herb products with probiotics to combat LPS-mediated inflammatory insults.
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