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Ginseng Berry Extract Shows Promise For Diabetes, Obesity

Date:
May 24, 2002
Source:
University Of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
An extract from the ginseng berry shows real promise in treating diabetes and obesity, reports a research team from the University of Chicago's Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research. In the June issue of the journal Diabetes, they show that the extract completely normalized blood glucose levels, improved sensitivity to insulin, lowered cholesterol levels, and decreased weight by reducing appetite and increasing activity levels in mice bred to develop diabetes.
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An extract from the ginseng berry shows real promise in treating diabetes and obesity, reports a research team from the University of Chicago's Tang Center for Herbal Medicine Research. In the June issue of the journal Diabetes, they show that the extract completely normalized blood glucose levels, improved sensitivity to insulin, lowered cholesterol levels, and decreased weight by reducing appetite and increasing activity levels in mice bred to develop diabetes.

For more than 2000 years, traditional Chinese medicine has used ginseng root to treat a variety of ailments. This study focused instead on substances found in the ginseng berry, which has very different concentrations of ginsenosides, the substances thought to be medically useful.

"Ginseng berry has a distinctive chemical profile and has not previously been used for therapy," said Chun-Su Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of anesthesia and critical care at the University of Chicago and director of the study. "We were stunned by how different the berry is from the root and by how effective it is in correcting the multiple metabolic abnormalities associated with diabetes."

Yuan's team, which included researchers from the Tang Center, anesthesia, clinical pharmacology and medicine, studied the effects of the extract, made from the pulp of the berry. They also studied one particular substance known as ginsenoside Re, which is concentrated in ginseng berries but quite scarce in the root.

They tested the extract by injecting it once a day into mice with a gene defect that causes weight gain and type 2 diabetes. They found that ---

* Daily injections of 150 mg/kg of the ginseng berry extract restored normal blood-sugar levels in diabetic mice. Blood-glusoce levels fell from 222 mg/dl (quite high for a mouse) to 137 mg/dl (normal) within 12 days. Treated mice also had better scores on a glucose tolerance test, which measures how quickly the mice could remove excess glucose from the blood.

* The extract caused diabetic mice, which were also obese, to lose more than 10 percent of their body weight in 12 days. Untreated mice gained five percent of their weight in 12 days. The treated mice ate 15 percent less and were 35 percent more active than untreated mice. Once the injections stopped, weight gain gradually resumed.

* The extract improved insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, both of which were abnormal in mice with diabetes. Treated diabetic mice had 30 percent lower cholesterol levels than untreated diabetic mice (117mg/dl versus 169mg/dl).


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Materials provided by University Of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Ginseng Berry Extract Shows Promise For Diabetes, Obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020524073803.htm>.
University Of Chicago Medical Center. (2002, May 24). Ginseng Berry Extract Shows Promise For Diabetes, Obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020524073803.htm
University Of Chicago Medical Center. "Ginseng Berry Extract Shows Promise For Diabetes, Obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020524073803.htm (accessed July 19, 2024).

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