Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

American Ginseng Reduces Blood Sugar: Implications For Diabetes And Herbal Research

Date:
April 14, 2000
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto have found that taking American ginseng before a meal reduces blood sugar in people both with and without diabetes. The study appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto have found that taking American ginseng before a meal reduces blood sugar in people both with and without diabetes. The study appears in the April 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, a publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Related Articles


Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, lead investigator for the study, says that these findings may have important implications for the treatment and prevention of diabetes, a disease affecting approximately eight per cent of North American adults and continually rising. "Although preliminary, these findings are encouraging and indicate that American ginseng's potential role in diabetes should be taken seriously and investigated further. Controlling after-meal blood sugar levels is recognized as a very important strategy in managing diabetes. It may also be important in the prevention of diabetes in those who have not yet developed the disease."

Study participants, both diabetic (Type 2) and non-diabetic, consumed capsules containing three grams of ground Ontario-grown American ginseng either 40 minutes before or during a glucose test meal. Among participants with Type 2 diabetes, those who took the ginseng capsules experienced a 20 per cent reduction in blood sugar levels compared to when they took placebo capsules. Among non-diabetic participants, similar reductions were only seen when the ginseng capsules were taken before, not together, with the test meal, suggesting that the timing of administration may be important. (The trial was an acute clinical study and did not compare the diabetic participants to the non-diabetic participants.)

Although the results are encouraging, Vuksan, who associate director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael's Hospital and assistant professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto, cautions that people should not use these findings as justification to start taking ginseng. "This is an initial, short-term study that only indicates a need for more research. We don't know what the effects of long-term consumption of ginseng will be. Because of poor standardization in the herbal industry, we also don't know if these findings will hold true for all American ginseng products. Nor do we know whether taking different speciesof ginseng such as Chinese or Japanese will have the same outcome."

In addition to implications for diabetes management, this study has considerable significance for broader research on herbals as potential medical treatments, an area that has generated a great deal of public controversy in recent years. "This study represents an important step in the evaluation of herbals," says Vuksan. "A major criticism of the herbal field and past ginseng research has been the lack of scientific, placebo-controlled trials in humans. Our study applied traditional clinical trial standards to research on an alternative medical product."

The use of herbals in North America has increased dramatically over the last decade and ginseng is one of the most widely-used herbs worldwide. There are several types, including American, Chinese, Japanese and Siberian. For the last 2000 years of Chinese traditional medicine, ginseng has been used as a tonic with supposed curative, restorative and aphrodisiac properties. Most of these claims have been based on anecdotal and other non-scientific observations. It is only recently that tests of ginseng have begun in humans, using rigorous scientific techniques.

Chai-Na-Ta, Langley B.C., the world's largest supplier of American ginseng, provided ginseng samples and, together with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, the funding for this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "American Ginseng Reduces Blood Sugar: Implications For Diabetes And Herbal Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410122509.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2000, April 14). American Ginseng Reduces Blood Sugar: Implications For Diabetes And Herbal Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410122509.htm
University Of Toronto. "American Ginseng Reduces Blood Sugar: Implications For Diabetes And Herbal Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410122509.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins