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Ginseng Studies

Recent studies:

Beneficial Effects of a Combination of Korean Red Ginseng and Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-1-Infected Patients.

Sung H, Jung YS, Cho YK.

Departments of Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 138-736, Korea. June. 09

To determine whether Korean red ginseng (KRG) has beneficial effects on HIV-1-infected patients administered highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), we analyzed the CD4 T cell count, viral load, and resistance mutations to HAART in 46 individuals. Thirteen patients harbored resistance mutations at baseline. The study population was divided into two groups, specifically, a combination of HAART plus KRG (23 patients) and HAART alone (23 patients). The annual increase in CD4 T cell count in the combination group was significantly higher than that in the HAART alone group (P < 0.05). Overall, 21 patients harbored resistance mutations after 3 years of therapy. Following exclusion of 13 patients displaying baseline resistance mutations, 7.1% of patients (1/14) in the combination group and 42.1% (8/19) in the HAART group were identified with resistance mutations. One patient with baseline resistance mutations in the combination group did not display resistance mutations 3 years after HAART therapy. High-level resistance mutations were significantly lower in the combination group than those in HAART alone. Five patients showed no improvement in viral copy number (26.3%, 5/19) in the combination group and 9 (45.0%, 9/20) in the HAART only group. Our data support the clinical utility of KRG intake during HAART therapy.

Study breakdown:
In a study published in June 2009, results show that Korean red ginseng can be beneficial to HIV-1 infected patients.  Specifically speaking, Korean red ginseng was administered to patients who were undergoing an HIV treatment.  The data revealed that Korean red ginseng helped stop mutation and increased T-cell count.  Although the study was relatively small with 46 patients, the study was well conducted with half being the control group while the other half being administered the herb.  The p value was below .05, meaning the hypothesis that red ginseng can help HIV patients is correct.

This study shows that Korean red ginseng health improvement properties can help many people, including those with illnesses. 

Potential Role of Ginseng in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

Published: May 2009

Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research and Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care The University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA

Chong-Zhi Wang and Chun-Su Yuan

“Colorectal cancer remains one of the most prevalent cancer and a leading cause of cancer related death in the US. Many currently used chemotherapeutic agents are derived from botanicals. Identifying herbal sources, including those from ginseng family, to develop better anti-cancer therapies remains an essential step in advancing the treatment of the cancer. In this article, potential roles of ginseng herbs, especially American ginseng and notoginseng, in colorectal cancer therapeutics are presented. The major pharmacologically active constituents of ginsengs are ginsenosides, which can be mainly classified as protopanaxadiol and protopanaxatriol groups. Structure-activity relationship between their chemical structures and pharmacological activities are discussed. In addition, various steaming temperature and time treatment of the ginseng herbs can change ginsenoside profiles, and enhance their anti-cancer activities. This heat treatment process may increase the role of ginseng in treating colorectal cancer.”

Study breakdown:
As mentioned above, colorectal (colon) cancer is the leading cancer type in the US.  Chemotherapy is an important and life-saving process of treating cancer.  Basically, in this published article, scientists study ginseng because it is a key ingredient in herbal chemotherapy.  This study reveals that ginsenosides, the active ingredient in ginseng, can help those with cancer.  

Ginsenosides appear to be an effective treatment in many diseases including cancer yet it is still a relatively unstudied herbal ingredient.  Base on this study, it is safe to say that ginseng helps promote longer life.  If ginseng can be used to treat cancer, it is also possible that ginseng can be used to prevent cancer.

Korean Ginseng Benefits - Red Ginseng or Korean Red Ginseng increases the beneficial effects of the ginseng root by transforming the active ingredients through a long herbal steaming process.