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Natural products targeting Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a special chronic intestinal inflammatory disease, which is mainly divided into Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Its occurrence is a complex process that regulated by multiple signaling pathways, including nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2)/ antioxidant response element (ARE) signaling pathway. Nrf2/ARE pathway as the central defense mechanism against oxidative stress controls the expression of many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes in the nucleus, and plays a crucial role in the treatment of IBD. Various studies have proved that many natural compounds target Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway to treat IBD. Here, we introduced the regulatory mechanism of the Nrf2/ARE pathway, and its role in IBD and IBD complications (intestinal fibrosis and colorectal cancer (CRC)); summarized the research progress of Nrf2 targeted natural compounds and extracts in the treatment of IBD; and finally described the intestinal microbiota that alleviate or treat IBD via activating Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway. This review highlights the potential for targeting Nrf2/ARE pathway to treat IBD.

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