Journal of ethnopharmacology

Antioxidative effects of Korean red ginseng in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial.

PMID 24814037


Red ginseng (RG) has been widely used to treat various diseases in East Asian countries. Previous studies have shown the anti-oxidative and anti-diabetic effects of RG. This study aimed to investigate the effects of RG on oxidative stress and insulin resistance in postmenopausal women. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 82 postmenopausal women aged 45-60 years. Participants were randomized to receive 3g red ginseng daily or placebo for 12 weeks. Antioxidant enzymes activity (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase) and oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) were assessed, and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index was calculated at the baseline and at the end of the trial. A total of 71 postmenopausal women completed the study. Serum superoxide dismutase activity was significantly increased after the 12-week RG supplementation (P<0.001), and these changes were statistically significant compared with the placebo group (P=0.004). Serum malondialdehyde levels showed a tendency to decrease after the 12-week RG supplementation (P=0.001), but these changes were not statistically significant compared with the placebo group (P=0.064). No statistically significant changes in serum glutathione peroxidase and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine were noted. Further, RG supplementation showed no effects on fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance. The results suggest that RG may reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in postmenopausal women.