Korean red ginseng improves glucose control in subjects with impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus

J Med Food. 2014 Jan;17(1):128-34. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2013.2889.


This study was designed to evaluate the effect of Korean red ginseng (KRG) supplementation on glucose control in subjects with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The study was a 12-week randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled (5 g of KRG [n=21] or placebo [n=20] in tablet form) trial. Glucose-related biomarkers, including serum and whole blood levels of glucose, insulin, and C-peptide, were measured by 2-h oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) at baseline and after the 12-week intervention. After the intervention, the test group showed a significant decrease in serum levels of glucose at 30 min (-22.24±10.77 mg/dL) and whole blood levels of glucose at 30 min (-17.52±5.22 mg/dL). In addition, the test group tended to have lower whole blood levels of glucose at 0 min and glucose area under curve (AUC). However, the placebo group did not show any changes in blood glucose-related indices. The changes (difference from baseline) in serum glucose levels at 30 min, whole blood glucose levels at 60 min, and glucose AUC during OGTTs in the test group exhibited a tendency toward a decrease from those in the placebo group. There were significant decreases or trends toward a decrease in both serum insulin and C-peptide concentrations at most time intervals in the test group. In conclusion, KRG supplementation (5 g/day) may be beneficial for controlling serum and whole blood glucose levels compared with placebo among patients with IFG, IGT, or T2DM.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / diagnosis
  • Glucose Intolerance / drug therapy*
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts

Associated data

  • IRCT/NCT01911663