Ginsam shows preliminary glucose-lowering efficacy
MedWire News: Ginsam, a vinegar extract from Panex ginseng, may improve glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in diabetes patients with inadequate glycemic control, suggest study findings.
The extract, which is enriched with high concentrations of ginsenoside Rg3, showed glucose-lowering effects in drug-naïve patients with Type 2 diabetes, say Soo Lim (Seoul National University, South Korea) and colleagues.
"Identifying the proper dosage of extracts from ginseng associated with antihyperglycemic activity might help develop a new class of antidiabetic agent," they write in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.
The team randomly allocated 72 patients with Type 2 diabetes and inadequate glycemic control (HbA1c: 7.0-9.0%) to receive daily treatment with 1500 mg, 2000 mg, or 3000 mg of ginsam, or a matching placebo for a period of 8 weeks.
Changes in glycemic parameters from baseline were assessed after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.
The authors report that by the end of the study, the change from baseline in HbA1c level differed significantly between the placebo and 1500 mg ginsam groups but not between the placebo and other ginsam groups.
The intention-to-treat analysis showed that mean HbA1c fell by 0.56%, 0.31%, and 0.29% in the 1500 mg, 2000 mg, and 3000 mg ginsam groups, respectively, compared with a fall of 0.02% in the placebo group.
The corresponding figures for reduction in fasting plasma glucose were 1.19 mmol/L, 0.79 mmol/L, and 0.38 mmol/L versus 0.12 mmol/L, with the difference in change between the 1500 mg ginsam and placebo groups reaching statistical significance.
The authors say that no serious adverse advents or hypoglycemic symptoms were reported during the study.
Ginsam is enriched with ginsenoside Rg3, which has previously been reported to increase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and suppress palmitate-induced apoptosis of pancreatic β-cells, note Lim et al.
The team says the findings suggest that 1500 mg ginsam may be a viable option for glucose lowering in patients with diabetes who do not trust "Westernized" medicine and would prefer to use botanic therapies without major side-effects.
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By Sally Robertson