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Open Access Research article

Postprandial glucose-lowering effects of fermented red ginseng in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Mi-Ra Oh1, Soo-Hyun Park1, Sun-Young Kim1, Hyang-Im Back1, Min-Gul Kim2, Ji-Young Jeon2, Ki-Chan Ha3, Won-Taek Na4, Youn-Soo Cha5, Byung-Hyun Park6, Tae-sun Park7* and Soo-Wan Chae128*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Trial Center for Functional Food, Chonbuk National University Hospital, 20 Geonji-ro, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-712, Republic of Korea

2 Clinical Trial Center, Chonbuk National University Hospital, 20 Geonji-ro, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-712 Republic of Korea

3 Healthcare Claims & Management Incorporation, 4-7 Gosapyeong 4-gil, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 560-822, Republic of Korea

4 Wonkwang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 165 Seokamro 11-gil, Chunpomyun, Iksan-si, Jeonbuk 570-952, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 567 Baekje-daero, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Republic of Korea

6 Department of Biochemistry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, 567 Baekje-daero, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Republic of Korea

7 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Chonuk National University Medical School, 567 Baekje-daero, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Republic of Korea

8 Department of Pharmacology, Chonuk National University Medical School, 567 Baekje-daero, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 561-756, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:237  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-237

Published: 11 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Red ginseng is prepared by steaming raw ginseng, a process believed to increase the pharmacological efficacy. Further bioconversion of red ginseng through fermentation is known to increase its intestinal absorption and bioactivity, and bioconversion diminishes the toxicity of red ginseng’s metabolite. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of daily supplementation with fermented red ginseng (FRG) on glycemic status in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes.

Methods

This study was a four-week long, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-two subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to two groups assigned to consume either the placebo or fermented red ginseng (FRG) three times per day for four weeks. Fasting and postprandial glucose profiles during meal tolerance tests were assessed before and after the intervention.

Results

FRG supplementation led to a significant reduction in postprandial glucose levels and led to an increase in postprandial insulin levels compared to the placebo group. There was a consistently significant improvement in the glucose area under the curve (AUC) in the FRG group. However, fasting glucose, insulin, and lipid profiles were not different from the placebo group.

Conclusion

Daily supplementation with FRG lowered postprandial glucose levels in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01826409

Keywords:
Fermented red ginseng; Type 2 diabetes; Impaired fasting glucose; Postprandial glucose