To investigate the efficacy of substances containing 3 types of active ingredients-saponins, flavones, and alkaloids on experimental animals with autoimmune diseases (AIDs). The protocol for this systematic review and Meta-analysis was prospectively registered with PROSPERO (CRD42023395741). Searches were conducted in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang, Chinese Science and Technology Journals, China Biomedical, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Embase databases to screen for animal studies investigating the therapeutic effects of saponins, flavones, or alkaloids on autoimmune diseases; consequently, corresponding data extraction tables were prepared. Systematic Review Centre for Laboratory Animal Experimentation was used to assess the risk of methodological bias in the included literature. RevMan 5.4 was used for the Meta-analysis on the 8 serum cytokines. A total of 31 studies were included, all of which were randomized controlled studies. Meta-analysis indicated that substances rich in saponins, flavones, and alkaloids reduced serum levels of interleukin (IL)-1β [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -1.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-2.99, -0.90), P = 0.0003], IL-6 [SMD = -1.65, 95% CI (-2.33, -0.97,) P < 0.000 01], IL-17 [SMD = -2.41, 95% CI (-3.61, -1.20), P < 0.0001], tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α [SMD = -1.84, 95% CI (-2.61, -1.06), P < 0.0001], and interferon (IFN)-γ [SMD = -1.54, 95% CI (-2.43, -0.65), P = 0.0007], but increased serum levels of IL-4 [SMD = 1.30, 95% CI (0.15, 2.44), P = 0.03) and IL-10 [SMD = 2.05, 95% CI (1.39, 2.70), P < 0.000 01) in animal models. However, no significant regulatory effect of these three active components was observed on serum levels of IL-2 [SMD = -0.63, 95% CI (-1.82, 0.57), P = 0.30]. Substances containing saponins, flavones, and alkaloids regulated the changes of immune-related cytokines, it may be a novel dietary substance to relieve and control autoimmune diseases in the future.

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