Effects of Panax ginseng on Obesity in Animal Models: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 May 15;2018:2719794. doi: 10.1155/2018/2719794. eCollection 2018.


Objective: To determine the antiobesity effects of Panax ginseng in animals.

Methods: We conducted a systematic search for all controlled trials (up to March 2017) that assessed the antiobesity effects of P. ginseng in animal obesity models in the PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, Web of Science, and Scopus databases. The primary outcome was final body weight measured at the longest follow-up time after administration of the intervention. The secondary outcome was the lipid profile. We assessed methodological quality using the SYRCLE risk of bias tool, and RevMan 5.3 was used to perform a meta-analysis. Finally, a subgroup analysis of parameters including intervention duration, animal models, and type of ginseng was performed.

Result: We identified 16 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Data from the meta-analysis indicated that the intervention group had a significantly lower body weight than the control group (SMD: -1.50, 95% CI: -1.90 to -1.11, χ2: 78.14, P < 0.0001, I2 = 58%). Final body weight was lower in an animal obesity model induced by high-fat diet than in genetic models. Also the intervention group had a significantly higher serum HDL level and lower serum LDL, TG, and TC level than the control group.

Conclusion: Our meta-analysis indicated that oral administration of P. ginseng significantly inhibits weight gain and improves serum lipid profiles in animal obesity models. However, causes of obesity and type of ginseng may affect treatment effects.

Publication types

  • Review