Background: Red ginseng is prepared by steaming raw ginseng, a process believed to increase the pharmacological efficacy. Further bioconversion of red ginseng through fermentation is known to increase its intestinal absorption and bioactivity, and bioconversion diminishes the toxicity of red ginseng's metabolite. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of daily supplementation with fermented red ginseng (FRG) on glycemic status in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes.
Methods: This study was a four-week long, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-two subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes were randomly allocated to two groups assigned to consume either the placebo or fermented red ginseng (FRG) three times per day for four weeks. Fasting and postprandial glucose profiles during meal tolerance tests were assessed before and after the intervention.
Results: FRG supplementation led to a significant reduction in postprandial glucose levels and led to an increase in postprandial insulin levels compared to the placebo group. There was a consistently significant improvement in the glucose area under the curve (AUC) in the FRG group. However, fasting glucose, insulin, and lipid profiles were not different from the placebo group.
Conclusion: Daily supplementation with FRG lowered postprandial glucose levels in subjects with impaired fasting glucose or type 2 diabetes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01826409.