Rooting For Your Health — American Ginseng Shown to Lower BGs in Type 2s by 59%

Mar 1, 2001

Studies are increasingly proving the benefits of keeping your after-meal BG levels down. Along with these results comes an interest among many with diabetes to help lower their glucose levels using natural substances.

A study published in the September 2000 issue of Diabetes Care indicates that you can lower your after-meal BG levels using American ginseng in low levels.

Researchers subjected 10 people with type 2 diabetes to a 25-gram oral glucose challenge, during which time either a placebo or varying amounts of American ginseng was given. Timing of the dosage also was varied. Measurements were taken on 16 separate occasions.

After participants' fasting blood-glucose levels were taken, they were either given a placebo or three, six or nine grams of ginseng. They either ingested 25 grams of glucose immediately or waited 40, 80 or 120 minutes before taking the glucose challenge. Then, blood-glucose levels were taken 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after the beginning of the glucose challenge.

Researchers said reductions in average BG levels occurred independent of the amount of ginseng and the time it was taken. Average blood-glucose at the diagnostically important two-hour after-meal period was reduced by 59.1 percent among those taking three grams of American ginseng; by 40.9 percent by those taking six grams; and by 45.5 percent by those taking nine grams.

"The lowest acute testing dose (3g) of ginseng in the current study was considerably higher than that used in most other clinical studies," researchers say. "We, however, used higher doses of American ginseng to follow traditional Oriental medicine."

Researchers say they stopped the level of ginseng consumption at 9 grams to avoid possible side effects previously reported with excessive ginseng intake.

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