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Open Access Research article

Effects of Korean red ginseng (Panax Ginseng Meyer) on bisphenol A exposure and gynecologic complaints: single blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy and safety

Mihi Yang1*, Ho-Sun Lee1, Min-Woo Hwang2 and Mirim Jin3

Author Affiliations

1 Research Center for Cell Fate Control, College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women’s University, Hyochangwon-gil 52, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul 140-742, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Sasang Constitutional Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3 Labobatory of Pathology, College of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:265  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-265

Published: 25 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Korean red ginseng (KRG) is a processed ginseng from raw ginseng to enhance safety, preservation and efficacy, known having beneficial effects on women’s health due to its estrogen like function. While estrogen supplementation showed some modulation of endocrine disrupting chemicals, bisphenol A (BPA) has been focused as a potential endocrine disrupting chemical. In this study, we examined the efficacy and safety outcomes of KRG against BPA, focusing on female quality of life (QOL). Individual variations in susceptibility to KRG were also investigated with the Sasang Typology, the personalized medicine used for hundred years in Korea.

Methods

We performed a single-blind randomized clinical trial. Study subjects were young women (N = 22), consumed 2.7 g of KRG or placebo per day for 2 weeks and filled up questionnaires regarding gynecologic complaints at the 4 time spots. We analyzed urinary total BPA and malondialdehyde (MDA), an oxidative stress biomarker, with GC/MS and HPLC/UVD respectively, and diagnosed their Sasang Typology with the questionnaire for the Sasang constitution Classification (QSCC II).

Results

KRG consumption decreased urinary BPA and MDA levels (ps < 0.05) and alleviated ‘menstrual irregularity’, ‘menstrual pain’, and ‘constipation’ (ps < 0.05). SoEum type (Lesser Yin person) among the Sasang types showed significant alleviation in insomnia, flushing, perspiration and appetite by KRG consumption, rather than other Sasang types. During the intervention, no one experienced any aggravated side effects.

Conclusion

We suggest KRG is efficient for protection for female QOL and BPA- exposure and – related oxidative stress. However, individual variation in susceptibility to KRG should be further considered for identifying ideal therapy.

Trial registration

KCT0000920.

Keywords:
Korean red ginseng; Bisphenol A; Chemoprevention; Sasang typology; Gynecologic complaints; Quality of life