Chronic Ginseng Consumption Attenuates Age-Associated Oxidative Stress in Rats

Ying Fu, Li Li Ji

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62 Scopus citations

Abstract

The antioxidant properties of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) were investigated in young and old rats fed a ginseng-supplemented diet for 4 mo. Female Fischer 344 rats at 4 (Y, n = 38) or 22 (O, n = 25) mo of age were randomly divided into three groups and fed either a AIN-93G formula-based control diet (C) or a diet containing 0.5 g/kg (low dose, L) or 2.5 g/kg (high dose, H) dry ginseng power for 4 mo. Oxidant generation, measured with 2′7′-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH), was significantly lowered with ginseng feeding in the homogenates of heart, soleus, and the deep portion of vastus lateralis muscle (DVL) (P < 0.05) in both Y and O rats, and the effects were dose dependent. Superoxide dismutase activity was elevated in heart and DVL of H rats, and in soleus of L rats (P < 0.05). H rats showed higher glutathione peroxidase activity in DVL and soleus muscle (P < 0.05), and elevated citrate synthase activity in the heart of both age groups and DVL of Y rats (P < 0.05). Neither the H nor L diet affected age-dependent lipid peroxidation in the heart or muscle, but protein carbonyl content was attenuated with the H diet in the heart (P < 0.05) and with both the L and H diets in DVL (P < 0.01). We conclude that ginseng supplementation can prevent age-associated increase in oxidant production and oxidative protein damage in rats. These protective effects are explained in part by elevated antioxidant enzyme activities in the various tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3603-3609
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume133
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Antioxidant enzyme
  • Free radical
  • Ginseng
  • Oxidative stress
  • Rats

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