Background: Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in several human studies. However, human studies on the effects of KRG on diabetic complications are lacking. We performed this study to investigate the effects of KRG administration on glucose metabolism and chronic diabetic complications in type 2 diabetes patients.
Methods: This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. 83 type 2 diabetes patients were randomly allocated to two groups assigned to consume either the placebo or KRG twice a day for 24 weeks. (taking total 2 grams a day) The primary outcomes were changes of diabetic microvascular complication markers at week 24 (serum creatinine, urinary albumin to creatinine ratio, laminin-P1 and Neurometer). The secondary outcome was change in fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c at week 24.
Results: Total of 61 patients (32 patients in the KRG group and 29 in the placebo group) completed the study. In the first 12 weeks, serum eGFR and creatinine levels deteriorated (P 0.04, P 0.01 respectively), but in the second 12 weeks, the statistically significant improvement was observed (P 0.03, P 0.01 respectively). Laminin-P1, an indicator of diabetic retinopathy, improved after 24 weeks of KRG administration but was statistically insignificant (P 0.08). At week 24, the neurometer grade was not statistically significant but showed a tendency to improve. The grade of the right arm improved from 2.38 to 1.30, the left arm from 1.81 to 0.71, the right leg from 0.99 to 0.69, and the left leg from 0.84 to 0.75 (P 0.16, P 0.12, P 0.58, P 0.86 respectively). Changes in fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c were not significant after 24 weeks of KRG administration (P 0.21, P 0.12 respectively).
Conclusions: Twenty-four week administration of Korean red ginseng in type 2 diabetic patients showed a gradual improvement in diabetic nephropathy after a transient deterioration and a tendency to improve diabetic polyneuropathy.
19 May 2018 - 22 May 2018