The glycaemic effects of single doses of Panax ginseng in young healthy volunteers

J. L. Reay, D. O. Kennedy, A. B. Scholey

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The results of two acute placebo-controlled, double-blind cross-over studies assessing the effect of Panax ginseng (G115) on blood glucose levels are reported. In study 1, thirty participants received three treatments: placebo; 200 mg G115; 400 mg G115. In study 2, twenty-seven participants received four treatments: placebo (0 mg ginseng and 30 mg saccharin); ginseng (200 mg ginseng and 30 mg saccharin); placebo-glucose (0 mg ginseng and 25 g oral glucose); ginseng-glucose (200 mg ginseng and 25 g oral glucose). Blood glucose levels were measured at baseline (at 09.00 hours after an overnight fast) and then 60, 90 (study 1 only) and 120 min post-dose. Both studies demonstrated that G115 alone significantly lowers fasting blood glucose levels. Conversely, in study 2 there was a significant drink × ginseng interaction suggesting opposing glycaemic effects of ginseng under fasting and raised blood glucose conditions. These data have implications for the use of ginseng in individuals with poor gluco-regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-642
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute
  • Blood glucose
  • Ginseng
  • Healthy adults
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Panax
  • Placebo

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