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J Med Food. 2014 Dec;17(12):1287-97. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.0016.

Dietary supplementation of chinese ginseng prevents obesity and metabolic syndrome in high-fat diet-fed mice.

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1 Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences , Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA .


Obesity and diabetes are growing health problems worldwide. In this study, dietary provision of Chinese ginseng (0.5 g/kg diet) prevented body weight gain in high-fat (HF) diet-fed mice. Dietary ginseng supplementation reduced body fat mass gain, improved glucose tolerance and whole body insulin sensitivity, and prevented hypertension in HF diet-induced obese mice. Ginseng consumption led to reduced concentrations of plasma insulin and leptin, but had no effect on plasma adiponectin levels in HF diet-fed mice. Body temperature was higher in mice fed the ginseng-supplemented diet but energy expenditure, respiration rate, and locomotive activity were not significantly altered. Dietary intake of ginseng increased fatty acid oxidation in the liver but not in skeletal muscle. Expression of several transcription factors associated with adipogenesis (C/EBPα and PPARγ) were decreased in the adipose tissue of HF diet-fed mice, effects that were mitigated in mice that consumed the HF diet supplemented with ginseng. Abundance of fatty acid synthase (FASN) mRNA was greater in the adipose tissue of mice that consumed the ginseng-supplemented HF diet as compared with control or un-supplemented HF diet-fed mice. Ginseng treatment had no effect on the expression of genes involved in the regulation of food intake in the hypothalamus. These data suggest that Chinese ginseng can potently prevent the development of obesity and insulin resistance in HF diet-fed mice.


fat; ginseng; insulin resistance; mice; obesity

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