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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 969168, 6 pages
Research Article

American Ginseng Extract (Panax quinquefolius L.) Is Safe in Long-Term Use in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

1Centre for Applied Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
2Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada M5C 2T2
3Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E2
4Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Disease, Dubrava University Hospital, University of Zagreb, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
5Clinical Department of Laboratory Diagnostics, Dubrava University Hospital, University of Zagreb, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia

Received 3 March 2014; Accepted 14 April 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Chang-Gue Son

Copyright © 2014 Iva Mucalo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. The objective of the present study was to test the safety of supplementation with the American ginseng (AG) interventional material as an adjunct to conventional therapy (diet and/or medications) in type 2 diabetes, using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel design. Methods. Each participant received either AG (10% ginsenosides) or placebo capsules (500 mg/meal = 3 g/day) for a period of 12 weeks. Outcomes included measures of safety including kidney function (urates and creatinine), liver function (AST and ALT), and haemostatic function (PV and INR). Results. Seventy-four participants with well-controlled type 2 diabetes (sex: 28 M and 46 F, age: 63 ± 9.5, BMI: 32 ± 5, and HbA1c: 7 ± 1.3), randomized to either intervention ( ) or control ( ) group, completed the study. There was no change in any of the measures of safety between treatments from baseline. The number or severity of adverse events did not differ between the AG intervention and placebo. Conclusion. Following 12 weeks of supplementation with AG, safety was not compromised in a high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk population of patients with type 2 diabetes. This demonstrated that safety is noteworthy, as reviews have continuously warned of possible adverse effects of ginseng consumption.