Baicalin and its aglycone: a novel approach for treatment of metabolic disorders

Pharmacol Rep. 2020 Feb;72(1):13-23. doi: 10.1007/s43440-019-00024-x. Epub 2020 Jan 8.


Background: The current strategies for prevention and treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are not fully effective and frequently accompanied by many negative effects. Therefore, novel ways to prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are urgently needed. The roots of Scutellaria radix are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicines for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, dysentery, and other respiratory disorders. Baicalin and baicalein are the major and active ingredient extracts from Scutellaria baicalensis.

Methods: A comprehensive and systematic review of literature on baicalin and baicalein was carried out.

Results: Emerging evidence indicated that baicalin and baicalein possessed hepatoprotective, anti-oxidative, anti-dyslipidemic, anti-lipogenic, anti-obese, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects, being effective for treating obesity, insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and dyslipidemia. Besides, baicalin and baicalein are almost non-toxic to epithelial, peripheral, and myeloid cells.

Conclusion: The purpose of this study is to focus on the therapeutic applications and accompanying molecular mechanisms of baicalin and baicalein against hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver, and trying to establish a novel anti-obese and anti-diabetic strategy.

Keywords: Baicalein; Baicalin; Diabetes; Insulin resistance; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Flavanones / pharmacology
  • Flavanones / therapeutic use*
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Metabolic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Metabolic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Scutellaria baicalensis / chemistry


  • Flavanones
  • Flavonoids
  • baicalin
  • baicalein