Emodin
Emodin [1,3,8-Trihydroxy-6-methyl-9,10-anthracenedione] 大黄素

Emodin, an orange-red crystalline substance, is a purgative resin, 6-methyl-1,3,8-
trihydroxyanthraquinone [C14H4O2(OH)3CH3], from Rheum palmatum and Polygonum
cuspidatum, rhubarb, the buckthorn and Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) etc.

Properties
MW: 270.24
Solubility: Soluble to 100 mM in 1eq. NaOH and to 50 mM in DMSO

Potential Health Benefits
1. It has been reported to be effective in Type 2 diabetes, based on the result of an
animal study. In the study, giving emodin to mice with diet-induced obesity lowered blood
glucose and serum insulin, improved insulin resistance and lead to more healthy levels of
lipid in the blood. It also decreased body weight and reduced central fat mass. [1]

2. It is used as laxative. [?]

3. It belongs to a family of compounds called anthraquinones, which have shown anti-
inflammatory and anticancer effects. [2] A study suggests that emodin may inhibit cancer-
cell growth by blocking VEGFR signaling and indicates that emodin can be used as a
potential inhibitor for tumor angiogenesis.[4] Thus, it may display a range of biological
activities, such as anti-inflammatory, antitumor and neuroprotective effects. Thus, it may
benefit people at risk of cancers, but clinical evidence is needed. [3]

Reference
[1] Scientist suggests emodin can reduce impact of type 2 diabetes, The Medical News, 18. August 2010 01:19
[2] Dictionary of Cancer Terms, Cancer.gov, 2010
[3] Wu et al (2007) Emodin-mediated protection from acute myocardial infarction via inhibition of inflammation
and apoptosis in local ischemic myocardium. Life Sci. 81 1332. Chun-Guang et al (2010) Anti-tumor activity of
emodin against human chronic myelocytic leukemia K562 cell lines in vitro and in vivo. Eur.J.Pharmacol. 627 33.
Liu et al (2010) Neuroprotective effects of emodin in rat cortical neurons against beta-amyloid-induced
neurotoxicity. Brain Res. (in press).
[4] Yingying Lu, Jianliang Zhang, Jiaming Qian. Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals. April 2008, 23(2):
222-228. doi:10.1089/cbr.2007.0425.
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