The most well-known component of the licorice plant species is glycyrrhizin, which is very sweet and has some medical uses; however, excess consumption of glycyrrhizin can cause hypokalemia (low levels of potassium) and serious health problems. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498851/) One can buy licorice supplements which have had the glycyrrhizin removed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deglycyrrhizinated_licorice)
Another component of licorice is isoliquiritigenin which, besides being a sirtuin-activating compound (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12939617, full text online at https://www.d.umn.edu/biology/documents/LiangPaper1.pdf) that could be good for fighting aging-related conditions (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/13543770902762893?journalCode=ietp20) and being a sleeping aid (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21945440), inhibits aldose reductase:
Traditionally in Japan, some kampo medicines (traditional oriental herbal prescriptions) have long been used for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. We have found that some aldose reductase inhibitors are included among these drugs. We further investigated the components of glycyrrhizae radix, a constituent of some kampo medicines, and isolated six compounds (GUs 9-17). Among these, GU-17, identified as isoliquiritigenin, had the most potent aldose reductase inhibiting activity.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2118267
Tomorrow I'll go into how isoliquiritigenin's inhibition of aldose reductase might be helping the brain stave off Parkinson's. Apparently some scientists would argue with me that inhibition of aldose reductase does just the opposite:
: Aldose reductase-deficiency leads to more significant loss of dopaminergeric neurons with incresed levels of dopamine, tetrahydrobiopterin and free radical accumulation under experimental Parkinson's Disease condition
|Title||Aldose reductase-deficiency leads to more significant loss of dopaminergeric neurons with incresed levels of dopamine, tetrahydrobiopterin and free radical accumulation under experimental Parkinson's Disease condition|
|Publisher||Society for Neuroscience.|
But they don't have a published paper that I can find, so I'm not sure what information or studies they base the title of their conference poster on. In general, searches on aldose reductase inhibition connect it with positive health outcomes. More tomorrow!