Antioxidative effects of Korean red ginseng in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Jul 3;154(3):753-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.04.051. Epub 2014 May 9.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Red ginseng (RG) has been widely used to treat various diseases in East Asian countries. Previous studies have shown the anti-oxidative and anti-diabetic effects of RG. This study aimed to investigate the effects of RG on oxidative stress and insulin resistance in postmenopausal women.

Materials and methods: We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 82 postmenopausal women aged 45-60 years. Participants were randomized to receive 3g red ginseng daily or placebo for 12 weeks. Antioxidant enzymes activity (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase) and oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) were assessed, and the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index was calculated at the baseline and at the end of the trial.

Results: A total of 71 postmenopausal women completed the study. Serum superoxide dismutase activity was significantly increased after the 12-week RG supplementation (P<0.001), and these changes were statistically significant compared with the placebo group (P=0.004). Serum malondialdehyde levels showed a tendency to decrease after the 12-week RG supplementation (P=0.001), but these changes were not statistically significant compared with the placebo group (P=0.064). No statistically significant changes in serum glutathione peroxidase and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine were noted. Further, RG supplementation showed no effects on fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance.

Conclusions: The results suggest that RG may reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in postmenopausal women.

Keywords: Insulin resistance; Oxidative stress; Postmenopausal women; Red ginseng.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Medicine, Korean Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Postmenopause / blood
  • Postmenopause / drug effects*
  • Republic of Korea


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Extracts