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Asian Ginseng Berry May Aid Glucose Management in Pre-Diabetics

People with impaired glucose tolerance are classified as pre-diabetic and are at a greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes. A recent study suggests that taking a Panax ginseng berry (also known as Asian ginseng) extract may significantly decrease serum concentration of fasting glucose and postprandial glucose at 60 minutes in people with impaired glucose levels.


Participants in the study included 63 people between the ages of 20 and 75 whose fasting blood glucose was between 100 and 140 mg/dL. The participants were randomized to receive either a 500 mg capsule containing 250 mg of ginseng berry extract or a placebo identical in appearance and taste. They took a total of four capsules per day, two capsules before breakfast and two capsules before dinner. Clinical visits were done at weeks 0, 6, and 12.


At the end of the 12-week trial period, the researchers noted no difference in glucose or lipid metabolism between the supplement group as a whole and the placebo group as a whole. However, when they isolated people whose fasting glucose levels were 110 mg/dL or higher, they found that serum concentration of fasting glucose significantly decreased by 3.7%. In addition, postprandial glucose at 60 minutes during the 75 g oral glucose tolerance test decreased by 10.7%.


These findings suggest that Asian ginseng berry extract may be beneficial for pre-diabetics who are looking to control their glucose levels.


Researchers from Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital in South Korea conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 10, 2017, in the Journal of Ginseng Research.


Ginseng has been used in traditional Asian medicines for hundreds of years. However, there is very little modern research done on this popular herbal supplement. There is some evidence that ginseng may boost the immune system and help fight the common cold. Ginseng is a root or a berry and is often added to tea for easy consumption.

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