Clinical Studies — Obesity

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium L.) as a Source of Bioactive Phytochemicals with Pro-Health Properties

Posted by Michael Burmeister on

This review highlights the most important characteristics and possible applications of AG. Among numerous studies AG was documented to exert beneficial activity towards nervous system. It boosts memory, increases calmness, and enhances cognitive performance []. It has therapeutic potential in treatment of Alzheimer disease and anxiety [,]. It also affects cardiovascular system—changes cardiac structure in hypertension, reduces heart rate, inhibits hypertrophy and heart failure [,,,]. Furthermore, AG prevents oesophageal damage resulted from reflux oesophagitis and formation of ulcer in gastric mucosa [,]. Apart from that, it displays antimicrobial activity against different pathogenic strains of bacteria including resistant to antibiotics S. aureus strain []. AG is extensively investigated in terms of anti-cancer activity. It promotes apoptosis of cancer cells and alters many different signalling pathways important for cancer transformation [,,,,,,,]. It also protects normal cells from unwanted side effects of anti-cancer drugs and diminishes cancer-related fatigue [,]. However, the mechanisms underlying beneficial activity of AG in cancer is not fully understood. Administration of AG may be beneficial for individuals suffering from obesity and diabetes. It enhances sensitivity of tissues to insulin and inhibits formation of adipose tissue. Also, polysaccharides of AG were reported to display pro-health effects by stimulating the immune system. Assinewe et al. observed that polysaccharide of AG extract containing glucose, galactose, arabinose, rhamnose, and mannose displayed cytokine-stimulating activity on macrophages. In this study, aqueous extracts of AG roots (1–100 μg/mL) stimulated the release of immunoreactive TNF, contributing to the activation of macrophages []. Yu et al. also showed immunostimulatory effect of the fraction of polysaccharide present in AG extract (50–400 μg/mL). AG extract application led to enhancement of splenic lymphocyte proliferation, macrophage phagocytosis and nitric oxide production []. AG extract (125 mg/kg for 3–6 days) stimulated alveolar macrophages in rats associated with increased level of NO, TNF-α and IL-6 in plasma []. These results were in agreement with those obtained by Azike. Similarly, AdG water extract (125 mg/kg) administered to rats for 3–6 days upregulated nitric oxide, TNF-α and IL-6. Within in vitro study macrophages were incubated with different concentrations of AG. A dose-dependent immunostimulatory activity of aqueous and alcohol extracts of AG (50–200 μg/mL) in rat macrophages was observed and an in vitro effect was more pronounced than corresponding in vivo result due to relatively low bioavailability of the extract administrated orally []. As the methodology of AG separation is poorly developed, it is a promising direction for the future research.

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Ginseng Extract Shows Promise For Diabetes & Obesity

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