Anti-fatigue activity of the water-soluble polysaccharides isolated from Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jul 20;130(2):421-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.05.027. Epub 2010 May 24.


Aim of the study: Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer (ginseng) is a well-known Chinese herb often used in Asian countries for physical strength development. Ginseng polysaccharides are its active component and have a lot of pharmaceutical activities. However, anti-fatigue activity of ginseng polysaccharides has not yet been tested. The current study was designed to evaluate the anti-fatigue activity of ginseng polysaccharides (WGP) in an animal test for fatigue and compare the activities between the neutral (WGPN) and acidic (WGPA) portion in an attempt to determine whether the medicinal uses are supported by pharmacological effects.

Materials and methods: WGP, WGPN and WGPA were orally administrated to mice once daily for 15 days. Anti-fatigue activity was assessed using the forced swim test (FST) and serum biochemical parameters were determined by autoanalyzer and commercially available kits.

Results: While all compounds were found to reduce immobility in the FST, the effect of WGPA was demonstrated in lower doses compared with WGP and WGPN. Moreover, the FST-induced reduction in glucose (GLU) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and increase in creatine phosphokinase (CK), lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, all indicators of fatigue, were inhibited by the corresponding doses of WGP, WGPN and WGPA.

Conclusions: Ginseng polysaccharides have anti-fatigue activity, also reflected in the effects on the physiological markers for fatigue. The acidic polysaccharide is more potent than the neutral polysaccharide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatigue / metabolism
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Panax*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots
  • Polysaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Solubility
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Swimming
  • Water / chemistry


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Solvents
  • Water
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Creatine Kinase