Antidiabetic Effects of Panax ginseng Berry Extract and the Identification of an Effective Component


Attele AS, Zhou YP, Xie JT, Wu JA, Zhang L, Dey L, et al






We evaluated antihyperglycemic and anti-obese effects of Panax ginseng berry extract and its major constituent, ginsenoside Re, in obese diabetic C57BL/6J ob/ ob mice and their lean littermates. Animals received daily intraperitoneal injections of Panax ginseng berry extract for 12 days. On day 12, 150 mg/kg extract-treated ob/ob mice became normoglycemic (137 +/- 6.7 mg/dl) and had significantly improved glucose tolerance. The overall glucose excursion during the 2-h intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test decreased by 46% (P < 0.01) compared with vehicle-treated ob/ob mice. The improvement in blood glucose levels in the extract-treated ob/ ob mice was associated with a significant reduction in serum insulin levels in fed and fasting mice. A hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp study revealed a more than twofold increase in the rate of insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in treated ob/ ob mice (112 +/- 19.1 vs. 52 +/- 11.8 &mgr;mol. kg(-1). min(-1) for the vehicle group, P < 0.01). In addition, the extract-treated ob/ob mice lost a significant amount of weight (from 51.7 +/- 1.9 g on day 0 to 45.7 +/- 1.2 on day 12, P < 0.01 vs. vehicle-treated ob/ob mice), associated with a significant reduction in food intake (P < 0.05) and a very significant increase in energy expenditure (P < 0.01) and body temperature (P < 0.01). Treatment with the extract also significantly reduced plasma cholesterol levels in ob/ob mice. Additional studies demonstrated that ginsenoside Re plays a significant role in antihyperglycemic action. This antidiabetic effect of ginsenoside Re was not associated with body weight changes, suggesting that other constituents in the extract have distinct pharmacological mechanisms on energy metabolism.