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Effects and mechanisms of ginseng and ginsenosides on cognition

Smith, I., Williamson, E. M., Putnam, S., Farrimond, J. and Whalley, B. J. (2014) Effects and mechanisms of ginseng and ginsenosides on cognition. Nutrition Reviews, 72 (5). pp. 319-333. ISSN 1753-4887

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/nure.12099

Abstract/Summary

Reviewed here is the existing evidence for the effects of ginseng extracts and isolated ginsenosides relevant to cognition in humans. Clinical studies in healthy volunteers and in patients with neurological disease or deficit, evidence from preclinical models of cognition, and pharmacokinetic data are considered. Conditions under which disease modification may indirectly benefit cognition but may not translate to cognitive benefits in healthy subjects are discussed. The number of chronic studies of ginseng effects in healthy individuals is limited, and the results from acute studies are inconsistent, making overall assessment of ginseng's efficacy as a cognitive enhancer premature. However, mechanistic results are encouraging; in particular, the ginsenosides Rg 3 , Rh 1 , Rh 2 , Rb 1 , Rd, Rg 2 , and Rb 3 , along with the aglycones protopanaxadiol and protopanaxatriol, warrant further attention. Compound K has a promising pharmacokinetic profile and can affect neurotransmission and neuroprotection. Properly conducted trials using standardized tests in healthy individuals reflecting the target population for ginseng supplementation are required to address inconsistencies in results from acute studies. The evidence summarized here suggests ginseng has potential, but unproven, benefits on cognition.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Division of Pharmacology
ID Code:36303
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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