Wild ginseng prevents the onset of high-fat diet induced hyperglycemia and obesity in icr mice

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Ginseng is a shade-loving perennial herb that is cultivated mainly in Korea, Japan, and China. The ginseng root has been used as a tonic remedy, and its antidiabetic activity has been demonstrated as early as 1920s. Although wild ginseng was anecdotally thought to be superior to cultivated ginseng as far as pharmacological properties were concerned, there have been no prior reports on the antidiabetic effect of wild ginseng. In this study, we investigated the preventative anti-diabetic and anti-obese effects of wild ginseng ethanol extract (WGEE). In the preventive experiment, WGEE co-administered with a high fat diet significantly inhibited body weight gain, fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, and free fatty acid levels in a dose dependent manner. WGEE-treated mice at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg improved the insulin resistance index by 55% and 61% compared to the high fat diet (HFD) control, respectively. Diameters of white and brown adipocytes were also decreased by 62% and 46% in the WG500-treated group compared to those in HFD fed control mice. Taken together, WGEE has potential as a preventive agent for type 2 diabetes mellitus (and possibly obesity) and deserves clinical trial in the near future.

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