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Korean Red Ginseng Useful in Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Submitted by on April 8, 2011 – 4:08 pm | 2,042 views

Korean Red Ginseng Useful in Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Written by: Heather S. Oliff, PhD, and Mark Blumentha

Diabetes is a growing epidemic around the world. Drug treatment is not completely successful in people with type 2 diabetes, and there is a compelling need for better prevention and treatment strategies. A survey of physicians revealed that about 75% of patients use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), even though physician knowledge, regulatory standards, and evidence of safety and benefit are often lacking.1 Rigorous clinical testing is required to provide evidence of the safety and effectiveness of CAM therapies in people with diabetes and other chronic diseases.

The purpose of this study was to test the long-term safety and efficacy of a Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng, Araliaceae) preparation selected from an acute clinical screening program in people with type 2 diabetes. (Korean red ginseng [KRG] is made from Korean white ginseng through a traditional steaming process which turns the fresh, steamed roots a dark reddish, auburn color and changes the chemistry of the roots. Korean ginseng is a synonym for Asian ginseng, denoting the geographical origin of the root.) This Canadian research group has previously published clinical trials demonstrating that American ginseng (P. quinquefolius) root can improve long-term glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.2,3

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