Effects of panax ginseng supplementation on muscle damage and inflammation after uphill treadmill running in humans

Hyun Lyung Jung, Hye Eun Kwak, Sung Soo Kim, Young Chan Kim, Chong Do Lee, Heidi K. Byurn, Ho Youl Kang

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43 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether Panax ginseng extract intake would influence exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation responses. Eighteen male college students were randomly assigned to either an RG intake group (RG, n = 9) or a placebo group (P, n = 9). All subjects performed a high-intensity uphill treadmill running task (two rounds of 45 min at 10 km/h speed with a 15 degree uphill slope separated by 5 min of rest). The RG group ingested 20 g/day of Korean red ginseng extract (mixed with 200 ml of water) three times/day for seven days prior to performing the uphill treadmill exercise test and for four days after the treadmill test, while the P group ingested 200 ml of water containing Agastachis Herba on the same schedule. Plasma creatine kinase activity (CK) and interlukin-6 (IL-6) levels were measured at pre-exercise and 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post-exercise; the IL-6 level was also measured at 1 and 2 h post-exercise. To evaluate insulin sensitivity, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed 24 h post-exercise. Plasma CK level in RG was significantly lower than that in P 72 h post-exercise (p < 0.05), and IL-6 level was significantly decreased in RG during the 2 h and 3 h recovery period compared to that of P (p < 0.05). Plasma glucose and insulin responses in RG were significantly reduced compared to those of P (p < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that RG supplementation could reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammatory responses, resulting in improvements in insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Creatine Kinase
  • Exercise
  • Ginseng
  • Inflammation
  • Interlukin-6
  • Muscle Injury


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