Ginseng has attracted interest because of its potential therapeutic role in diabetes therapy. No direct evidence has shown the effects of ginseng and its components, ginsenosides, on human islet β cell. In this study, we evaluated ginseng extract and ginsenosides (Rb2, Re, Rg1, Rd) on human pancreatic β cell function. The results provide direct evidence that ginseng extract promotes human pancreatic β cell function. Ginsenoside Rb2 increased islet β cell insulin release and promoted β cell migration. Ginsenoside Re had some impact on cell migration, but had no effect on islet function by evaluating insulin release. The other ginsenosides had no effect on insulin release and islet migration. To date, this is the first study that examines the impact of ginsenosides on human pancreatic islets in vitro.
Keywords: American Ginseng; Diabetes; Ginsenosides; Human islets; Insulin; β cells.