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Effects of 8 weeks administration of Korean Panax ginseng extract on the mood and cognitive performance of healthy individuals

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Background: Previous research has suggested that single doses of a standardised Panax ginseng extract can decrease fasted blood-glucose levels and modulate cognitive performance in healthy young volunteers. The latter has generally been seen in terms of improved secondary memory performance. However, both the cognitive effects of chronic administration of ginseng and the potential modulation of working memory have received comparatively little research attention. Aims: The current double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced cross-over study investigated the effects of 8-weeks administration of Korean ginseng extract (200 mg) on cognitive performance, gluco-regulatory parameters and ratings of subjective mood and 'quality of life'. Methods: 'Eighteen healthy young participants were assessed pre-dose and 3 hours post-dose on the mornings of Day 1, Day 29 and Day 57 of 8 week treatment regimens of both placebo and ginseng. A four-week placebo wash-out separated the treatment phases. Each assessment included the Cognitive Drug Research battery, computerised working memory tasks, and Bond-Lader mood scales. The WHO Quality of Life scale (WHOQOL-BREF) was completed once per visit. Gluco-regulatory parameters were assessed with assays of blood glucose, insulin and HbA1c. Results: Data from the 16 participants that completed the study showed that there were no significant, acute treatment related differences on Day 1 of treatment, or in gluco-regulatory parameters throughout the study. However, time related performance improvements were evident following chronic administration of ginseng on the '3-Back' and 'Corsi-block' computerised working memory tasks. Ginseng was also associated with an improved score on the 'social relations' subscale of the WHOQOL-100, and a significant shift on the 'calm' factor of the Bond-Lader mood scales (from calm/relaxed towards excited/tense). Conclusion: The results of the current study suggest that Korean ginseng extract can modulate working memory performance and subjective ratings of 'quality of life' and mood. Replication with a larger sample size may further elucidate the actions of this product.
... The results of many clinical trials suggesting the beneficial effects of ginseng on stress and cognitive functions were critically reviewed in several comprehensive and systematic review articles [3,[15][16][17][18][19]. Overall, ginseng is a promising treatment for mental, industrial, and chronic fatigue [20][21][22], as well as for cognitive functions [23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]. Ginseng preparations are currently marketed in the European Union as traditional herbal medicinal products according to Directive 2001/83/EC criteria on the basis of their long-standing traditional use as a "tonic" [3], but not as evidence-based herbal medicinal products with well-established use "due to the heterogeneity of studies regarding investigated preparations and study design, deficiencies in methodological quality, and small numbers of study participants" [3]. ...
... The studies yielded six positive and two negative findings. Authors reported the anti-mental-fatigue effects of P. ginseng extract (G115) by showing improvements in the cognitive performance and memory of healthy volunteers in serial clinical studies [23][24][25][26]. However, no significant difference was found between ginseng and the placebo [18,25]. ...
... Authors reported the anti-mental-fatigue effects of P. ginseng extract (G115) by showing improvements in the cognitive performance and memory of healthy volunteers in serial clinical studies [23][24][25][26]. However, no significant difference was found between ginseng and the placebo [18,25]. ...
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Background: The aim of this pilot study was to compare the efficacy of hydroponically cultivated red Panax ginseng Meyer root preparation (HRG80) and traditionally harvested six-year-old white P. ginseng standard preparation (PGS) with placebo in preventing symptoms of stress. Methods: The effects of HRG80, PGS, and placebo capsules were studied in 50 tired healthy subjects in a three-arm, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Efficacy-outcome measures included the accuracy of processing the d2 test for cognitive functions, obtained accuracy score in a computerized memory test, and the perceived-stress (PS) score. Results: A statistically significant interaction effect between time and treatment (p < 0.0001) was observed in the attention d2 and memory tests, indicating that HRG80 treatment was more beneficial than that with a placebo. The effects of PGS were better than those of the placebo, but the difference was not statistically significant. There was significant difference between the effects of HRG80 and PGS (p < 0.0001) that were observed after single (Day 1) and repeated administrations on Days 5 and 12 of treatment. Conclusion: Overall, HRG80 treatment was significantly superior compared to that with the PGS and placebo regarding attention, memory, and PS scores after single and repeated administrations for 5 and 12 days.
... The authors concluded that there was a strong evidence of efficacy concerning psychomotor function. The authors reported the anti-mental fatigue effects of P. ginseng extract (G115) based on improvements in cognitive performance and memory in healthy volunteers in serial clinical studies [78][79][80][81][82]. However, no significant difference in efficacy was found between ginseng and placebo [71,78]. ...
... The authors reported the anti-mental fatigue effects of P. ginseng extract (G115) based on improvements in cognitive performance and memory in healthy volunteers in serial clinical studies [78][79][80][81][82]. However, no significant difference in efficacy was found between ginseng and placebo [71,78]. ...
... The results of many clinical trials suggesting the beneficial effects of ginseng on stress and cognitive functions were critically reviewed in several comprehensive and systematic review articles [3,[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]. Overall, ginseng is a promising treatment for mental, industrial, and chronic fatigue [15][16][17][18][19], and for the cognitive enhancement performance of healthy subjects [6,[19][20][21][22][23][24], and patients with mild cognitive impairments [25][26][27][28][29][30][31] and/or neurological disorders [7,[26][27][28]. ...
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Numerous in vitro studies on isolated cells have been conducted to uncover the molecular mechanisms of action of Panax ginseng Meyer root extracts and purified ginsenosides. However, the concentrations of ginsenosides and the extracts used in these studies were much higher than those detected in pharmacokinetic studies in humans and animals orally administered with ginseng preparations at therapeutic doses. Our study aimed to assess: (a) the effects of ginsenoside Rg5, the major “rare” ginsenoside of Red Ginseng, on gene expression in the murine neuronal cell line HT22 in a wide range of concentrations, from 10−4 to 10−18 M, and (b) the effects of differentially expressed genes on cellular and physiological functions in organismal disorders and diseases. Gene expression profiling was performed by transcriptome-wide mRNA microarray analyses in HT22 cells after treatment with ginsenoside Rg5. Ginsenoside Rg5 exhibits soft-acting effects on gene expression of neuronal cells in a wide range of physiological concentrations and strong reversal impact at high (toxic) concentration: significant up- or downregulation of expression of about 300 genes at concentrations from 10−6 M to 10−18 M, and dramatically increased both the number of differentially expressed target genes (up to 1670) and the extent of their expression (fold changes compared to unexposed cells) at a toxic concentration of 10−4 M. Network pharmacology analyses of genes’ expression profiles using ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) software showed that at low physiological concentrations, ginsenoside Rg5 has the potential to activate the biosynthesis of cholesterol and to exhibit predictable effects in senescence, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, and immune response, suggesting soft-acting, beneficial effects on organismal death, movement disorders, and cancer.
... The results of many clinical trials suggesting the beneficial effects of ginseng on stress and cognitive functions were critically reviewed in several comprehensive and systematic review articles [3,[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]. Overall, ginseng is a promising treatment for mental, industrial, and chronic fatigue [15][16][17][18][19], and for the cognitive enhancement performance of healthy subjects [6,[19][20][21][22][23][24], and patients with mild cognitive impairments [25][26][27][28][29][30][31] and/or neurological disorders [7,[26][27][28]. ...
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Numerous in vitro studies on isolated cells have been conducted to uncover the molecular mechanisms of action of Panax ginseng Meyer root extracts and purified ginsenosides. However, the concentrations of ginsenosides and the extracts used in these studies were much higher than detected in pharmacokinetic studies in humans and animals orally administered with ginseng preparations at therapeutic doses. Our study aimed to assess: (a) the effects of ginsenoside Rg5, the major "rare" ginsenoside of Red Ginseng, on gene expression in the murine neuronal cell line HT22 in a wide range of concentrations, from 10-4 to 10-18 M, and (b) the effects of differentially expressed genes on cellular and physiological functions in organismal disorders and diseases. Gene expression profiling was performed by transcriptome-wide mRNA microarray analyses in HT22 cells after treatment with ginsenoside Rg5. Ginsenoside Rg5 exhibits soft-acting effects on gene expression of neuronal cells in a wide range of physiological concentrations and strong reversal impact at high (toxic) concentration: significant up- or downregulation of expression of about 300 genes at concentrations from 10-6 M to 10-18 M, and dramatically increased both the number of differentially expressed target genes (up to 1670) and the extent of their expression (fold changes compared to unexposed cells) at a toxic concentration of 10-4 M. Network pharmacology analyses of genes expression profiles using Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) software showed that at low physiological concentrations, ginsenoside Rg5 has the potential to activate the biosynthesis of cholesterol and to exhibit predictable effects in senescence, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, and immune response, suggesting soft-acting, beneficial effects on organismal death, movement disorders, and cancer.
... In the European Union, herbal preparations of P. ginseng have been used for at least for 30 years as a "tonic in case of tiredness, weakness, and decreased mental and physical capacity, as well as to improve concentration and to improve the general condition during convalescence" [28]. An increasing body of scientific evidences suggests that ginseng is an effective and safe treatment for impaired cognitive functions [5,6,8,9,[12][13][14][29][30][31]. ...
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Background: Root of the Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng CA Meyer) is used in traditional medicinal systems to enhance cognitive function. In this study we compared the effects of HRG80 with a Standard Ginseng Preparation (SGP) on the excitability of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus of rats by using hippocampal long-term potentiation. The aim of the study: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of HRG80 with SGP on the excitability of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus of rats, and to elucidate a possible mechanism of their action by using hippocampal long-term potentiation, a memory model based on modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission. Methods: Red Ginseng preparations were orally administered at daily doses of 10 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg, and 50 mg/kg to rats for 1 week before ex vivo analysis of the excitability of hippocampus slices was performed the following day. Hippocampal slices were stimulated in vitro with Single Stimuli (SS) or Theta Burst Stimuli (TBS) in order to activate the Schaffer Collaterals targeting pyramidal cells in the presence or absence of six various glutamatergic receptor antagonists. Results: Both P.ginseng preparations induced a dose dependent increase in the population spike in the presence of SS as well as in the presence of TBS leading to Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) compared to the placebo (glucose 1% 1 ml/kg). Comparison of the efficacy of both P.ginseng preparations revealed a superior action of HRG80 Ginseng, reached considerably and statistically significantly higher population spike peak amplitudes than SGPin the presence of both stimulation modi. Only glutamatergic NMDA and Kainate receptor antagonists selectively reversed the actions of HRG80 and SGP. Conclusion: Ginseng HRG80 preparation from hydroponically cultivated roots is more active than SGP. Ginseng induced higher excitability of pyramidal cells by modulation of ionotropic glutamate NMDA and Kainate receptor mediated transmission.
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Background: This study aimed to assess the effect of a fixed combination of Red Ginseng and Red Sage (RG–RS) on the gene expression of neuronal cells to evaluate the potential impacts on cellular functions and predict its relevance in the treatment of stress and aging-related diseases and disorders. Methods: Gene expression profiling was conducted by transcriptome-wide mRNA microarray analyses of murine HT22 hippocampal cell culture after treatment with RG–RS preparation. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) was performed with datasets of significantly upregulated or downregulated genes and the expected effects on the physiological and cellular function and the diseases were identified. Results: RG–RS deregulates 1028 genes associated with cancer and 139 with metastasis, suggesting a predicted decrease in tumorigenesis, the proliferation of tumor cells, tumor growth, metastasis, and an increase in apoptosis and autophagy by their effects on the various signaling and metabolic pathways, including the inhibition of Warburg’s aerobic glycolysis, estrogen-mediated S-phase entry signaling, osteoarthritis signaling, and the super-pathway of cholesterol biosynthesis. Conclusion: The results of this study provide evidence of the potential efficacy of the fixed combination of Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Mey.) and Red Sage/Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge) in cancer. Further clinical and experimental studies are required to assess the efficacy and safety of RG–RS in preventing the progression of cancer, osteoarthritis, and other aging-related diseases.
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Background: Dietary supplements promoted for brain health and enhanced cognitive performance are widely available. Claims made for these products are directed not only to the elderly wishing to prevent or mitigate cognitive decline, but also young healthy populations looking to boost their cognitive performance. It is unclear whether these claims made on product bottles and through advertising match the science. Objectives: To explore the evidence on the efficacy and safety of single dietary supplement ingredients frequently marketed with claims of enhanced cognitive performance among healthy adults. Design: A systematic review. Results: Nine of 54 dietary supplement ingredients identified through a scoping review met the eligibility criteria with at least 3 published studies identified per ingredient, yielding 69 unique publications. Ingredients evaluated included Bacopa monnieri, choline, creatine, omega-3 fatty acids, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, tyrosine, and valerian root, all in supplement form and compared with a placebo, at various serving sizes and durations of use. Conclusions: The low level of certainty in the state of the science, coupled with not always knowing what is in a dietary supplement product, make weighing risks and benefits difficult; these data hinder the ability to develop recommendations about using such ingredients for consumers interested in boosting their cognitive performance. Whereas certain trends regarding promising serving sizes or duration for use, are pointed to in this synthesis, when combined, studies are inconsistent and imprecise, and many are methodologically flawed. Potential solutions to address research gaps are offered, for future research next steps, which is needed to strengthen the evidence and inform decisions.
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Objective We aimed to investigate the effects of Korean red ginseng (KRG) supplementation on gray matter volume of the human brain which could be related to cognitive enhancing effects of KRG. Methods In this randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled study, 51 healthy individuals were assigned to receive either KRG (1000 mg/day, n = 26) or placebo (n = 25) for 8 weeks. Gray matter volume of the whole brain was measured using voxel‐based morphometry based on high‐resolution T1‐weighted magnetic resonance images acquired at baseline and week 8. The standardized composite cognitive scores of executive function, attention, and memory were also evaluated at baseline and week 8. Changes in gray matter volume as well as the composite cognitive scores were compared between the KRG and placebo groups. Results Following 8 weeks of KRG supplementation, the gray matter volume of the left parahippocampal gyrus increased significantly in the KRG group, relative to the placebo group (p for interaction < 0.001). The KRG group also showed greater magnitude of enhancement in the composite cognitive scores relative to the placebo group (p for interaction = 0.03). Conclusions Gray matter volume increase in the parahippocampus may be a key neural change as induced by KRG supplementation, which could be associated with cognitive enhancement.
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