Objectives: Ginseng saponin is known to have biological activities in maintaining homeostasis and enhancing vital energy. Enzyme-modified ginseng extract (EMGE) was designed to increase the content of its active constituents and to intensify biological activity. The present study investigated the anti-fatigue effects of EMGE in healthy adults in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Design: Fifty-two healthy subjects met the diagnostic criteria and were randomly allocated into one of two groups: EMGE (2,000 mg/day) or placebo. EMGE or placebo were administered to each group for 4 weeks. Fatigue scores using the Visual Analogue Fatigue Scale (VAFS) and Revised Piper Fatigue Scale (RPFS) were considered as the primary outcome measure. Life-quality scores were investigated using the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). The safety and adverse effects of EMGE were also assessed.
Results: A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that there was a significant difference in the VAFS scores VAFS between the treatment and placebo groups after 4 weeks. The treatment group's score decreased more than that of the placebo group. There was no difference in the RPFS and SF-36 scores between the two groups. There were no fatal adverse effects.
Conclusion: EMGE treatment for 4 weeks decreased fatigue severity in a healthy population. Adverse effects were rare, and EMGE was generally well tolerated. Randomized, placebo-controlled trials of EMGE are justified in order to elucidate the underlying mechanism of EMGE in combating fatigue.
Keywords: anti-fatigue; enzyme-modified ginseng extract; randomized controlled trial.