Panax ginseng has no effect on indices of glucose regulation following acute or chronic ingestion in healthy volunteers

Br J Nutr. 2009 Jun;101(11):1673-8. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508123418. Epub 2008 Nov 19.


In the absence of effective pharmacotherapy for diabetes there has been an increase in the use of, and research into, alternative treatment strategies. These include exercise, dietary interventions and the use of supplements including extracts of ginseng. Two separate, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over studies investigating the effects of chronic ingestion of Panax ginseng (study 1 used G115, study 2 used Cheong Kwan Jang) on glycated Hb (HbA1c; study 1, n 18; study 2, n 11), fasting plasma insulin (study 1, n 17; study 2, n 12), fasting plasma glucose and postprandial response (following breakfast) (study 1, n 23; study 2, n 14) in healthy volunteers are reported. In both studies it was found that Panax ginseng had no effect on any gluco-regulatory parameter investigated. These results are not consistent with those reported for a diabetic sample (albeit using slightly different outcomes). These results would suggest that chronic use of Panax ginseng by non-diabetic individuals will have little long-term effect on glucose regulation. The benefits to glucose regulation associated with long-term ginseng use may only be present in populations with compromised glucose control; however, further research is needed to confirm such a speculation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panax*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Postprandial Period / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human