Variability in commercial ginseng products: an analysis of 25 preparations. (1/12)

BACKGROUND: Because dietary supplements are not subject to the same regulations that pharmaceuticals are, there is concern among medical professionals that these products may lack purity or potency. OBJECTIVE: To determine the variability in a range of ginseng herbal products available in the United States, we identified and measured the concentration of marker compounds by using HPLC and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. DESIGN: Twenty-five commercial ginseng preparations from the genera Panax or Eleutherococcus were obtained from a local health food store and analyzed for 7 ginsenosides (marker compounds for Panax species, which include Asian and American ginseng) and 2 eleutherosides (marker compounds for Eleutherococcus senticosus, also known as Siberian ginseng). RESULTS: All plant products were correctly identified by botanical plant species (ie, Panax species or E. senticosus); however, concentrations of marker compounds differed significantly from labeled amounts. There was also significant product-to-product variability: concentrations of ginsenosides varied by 15- and 36-fold in capsules and liquids, respectively, and concentrations of eleutherosides varied by 43- and 200-fold in capsules and liquids, respectively. Although a systematic search for adulterants was not conducted, review of the HPLC and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry data suggest that no substances other than ginsenosides or eleutherosides were extracted from the plant material. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that US ginseng products are correctly labeled as to plant genus; however, variability in concentrations of marker compounds suggests that standardization may be necessary for quality assurance and that characterization of herbal products should be considered in the design and evaluation of studies on herbal products.  (+info)

Constituents and pharmacological effects of Eucommia and Siberian ginseng. (2/12)

The bark and leaves of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv (Eucommiaceae) and "Siberian ginseng" (Ezoukogi in Japanese) prepared from the root bark or stem bark of Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim (Acanthopanax senticosus Harms) have been used as tonic and anti-stress drug. The extracts of Eucommia showed anti-hypertensive, anti-complementary, anti-oxidative, and anti-gastric ulcer effects, and promoting collagen synthesis, accelating granuloma formation, and other pharmacological effects. The Siberian ginseng exhibited anti-fatigue, anti-stress, immuno-enhancing effect, CNS activity, and anti-depressive effect. By now, 40, 28, and 10 compounds have been isolated from Eucommia ulmoides bark, Eucommia ulmoides leaves, and Siberian ginseng, respectively, and their structures were elucidated. Their pharmacological activities were mainly due to lignans and iridoid glycosides.  (+info)

Effect of Asian and Siberian ginseng on serum digoxin measurement by five digoxin immunoassays. Significant variation in digoxin-like immunoreactivity among commercial ginsengs. (3/12)

Asian and Siberian ginsengs contain glycosides with structural similarities to digoxin. We studied potential interference of ginseng in 5 digoxin immunoassays in 3 Asian (2 liquid extracts, 1 capsule) and 3 Siberian ginseng preparations (1 liquid extract, 2 capsules). With the fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA), we observed apparent digoxin activity in 1 Asian liquid preparation and in the liquid extract and 1 capsule form of Siberian ginseng. In mice fed ginseng, we observed digoxin activities in the serum (Asian, 0.48-0.68 ng/mL [0.6-0.9 nmol/L]; Siberian, 0.20-0.47 ng/mL [0.3-0.6 nmol/L]), indicating that such interferences also occur in vivo. Serum pools prepared from samples from patients receiving digoxin and then supplemented with Asian or Siberian ginseng showed falsely increased digoxin values using the FPIA (e.g., for Asian ginseng, 1.54 ng/mL [2.0 nmol/L] vs control value, 1.10 ng/mL [1.4 nmol/L]) and falsely decreased values using the microparticle enzyme immunoassay (MEIA; 0.73 ng/mL [0.9 nmol/L] vs control value, 1.04 ng/mL [1.3 nmol/L]). Digoxin-like immunoreactive substances (DLISs) showed synergistic effects with ginsengs in interfering with the FPIA and MEIA for digoxin. No interference was observed with 3 other digoxin assays, even in the presence of elevated DLISs.  (+info)

Estimation of humoral activity of Eleutherococcus senticosus. (4/12)

The aim of the present work was an estimation of the influence of two plant pharmaceutical preparations containing an extract from the root of Eleutherococcus senticosus: Argoeleuter tablets and Immuplant tablets, on the humoral response of immunological system. Experiments were performed with female Balb/c mice six weeks old. In order to reveal the influence of taking preparations, containing an extract from Eleutherococcus senticosus on some elements of the immunological system, three ways of their administration have been compared: before illness, during illness and a combination of both. The obtained results allow formulating the following conclusions: - the pharmaceutical preparations, containing the extract from Eleutherococcus senticosus administered orally, influence on the increase of the level of immunoglobulins comprised in the mice's blood serum, - the pharmaceutical preparations act with different power, not fully dependent on the content of marker of the active substance - eleutheroside E, - dosage of the preparations containing the extract from Eleutherococcus senticosus should not be established basing only on the extract content, - best curative results, measured as the stimulation of humoral response of the organism were obtained when a given preparation was administered therapeutically, even though the combined administration - prophylactically with prolonged administration during illness also is correct.  (+info)

Siberian ginseng (Eleutheroccus senticosus) effects on CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 activity in normal volunteers. (5/12)

Siberian ginseng ([SG]; Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a commonly used herbal preparation. The objective of this study was to assess in normal volunteers (n = 12) the influence of a standardized SG extract on the activity of cytochrome P450 CYP2D6 and 3A4. Probe substrates dextromethorphan (CYP2D6 activity) and alprazolam (CYP3A4 activity) were administered orally at baseline and again following treatment with SG (1 x 485 mg twice daily) for 14 days. Urinary concentrations of dextromethorphan and dextorphan were quantified, and dextromethorphan metabolic ratios (DMRs) were determined at baseline and after SG treatment. Likewise, plasma samples were collected (0-60 h) for alprazolam pharmacokinetics at baseline and after SG treatment to assess effects on CYP3A4 activity. Validated high performance liquid chromatography methods were used to quantify all compounds and relevant metabolites. There were no statistically significant differences between pre- and post-SG treatment DMRs indicating a lack of effect on CYP2D6 (P > 0.05). For alprazolam there also were no significant differences in the pharmacokinetic parameters determined by noncompartmental modeling (C(max), T(max), area under the curve, half-life of elimination) indicating that SG does not significantly induce or inhibit CYP3A4 (P > 0.05). Our results indicate that standardized extracts of SG at generally recommended doses for over-the-counter use are unlikely to alter the disposition of coadministered medications primarily dependent on the CYP2D6 or CYP3A4 pathways for elimination.  (+info)

Effect of Brazilian, Indian, Siberian, Asian, and North American ginseng on serum digoxin measurement by immunoassays and binding of digoxin-like immunoreactive components of ginseng with Fab fragment of antidigoxin antibody (Digibind). (6/12)

We compared Brazilian, Indian, Siberian, Asian, and North American ginseng for potential interference with 3 digoxin immunoassays: fluorescence polarization (FPIA), microparticle enzyme (MEIA), and Tina-quant (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN). We supplemented aliquots of a drug-free serum pool with ginseng extracts representing expected in vivo concentrations and overdose. We observed apparent digoxin-like immunoreactivity with FPIA, modest immunoreactivity with MEIA, and no apparent digoxin immunoreactivity with the Tina-quant with all ginsengs except Brazilian, which showed no immunoreactivity with any assay. When aliquots of serum pools prepared from patients receiving digoxin were supplemented with ginsengs, we observed falsely elevated digoxin values with FPIA, falsely lower digoxin values (negative interference) with MEIA, and no interference with the Tina-quant. Digoxin-like immunoreactive components of various ginsengs have moderate protein binding; monitoring free digoxin concentrations does not eliminate such interference. We also observed that Digibind (Burroughs Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC) can bind free digoxin-like immunoreactive components of ginsengs; such effects can be monitored by measuring apparent free digoxin concentrations. Indian, Asian, and North American ginsengs interfere with serum digoxin measurement by FPIA and MEIA; the Tina-quant is free of such interference. Digibind can bind free digoxin-like immunoreactive components of ginseng.  (+info)

Inhibitory effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts on amyloid beta(25-35)-induced neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss. (7/12)

Neurons with atrophic neurites may remain alive and therefore may have the potential to regenerate even when neuronal death has occurred in some parts of the brain. This study aimed to explore effects of drugs that can facilitate the regeneration of neurites and the reconstruction of synapses even in severely damaged neurons. We investigated the effects of Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts on the regeneration of neurites and the reconstruction of synapses in rat cultured cortical neurons damaged by amyloid beta (Abeta)(25-35). Treatment with Abeta(25-35) (10 microM) induced axonal and dendritic atrophies and synaptic loss in cortical neurons. Subsequent treatment with the methanol extract and the water extract of E. senticosus (10 - 1000 ng/ml) resulted in significant axonal and dendritic regenerations and reconstruction of neuronal synapses. Co-application of the extract and Abeta(25-35) attenuated Abeta(25-35)-induced neuronal death. We investigated neurite outgrowth activities of eleutherosides B and E and isoflaxidin, which are known as major compounds in E. senticosus. Although eleutheroside B protected against Abeta(25-35)-induced dendritic and axonal atrophies, the activities of eleutheroside E and isofraxidin were less than that of eleutheroside B. Although the contents of these three compounds in the water extract were less than in the methanol extract, restoring activities against neuronal damages were not different between the two extracts. In conclusion, extracts of E. senticosus protect against neuritic atrophy and cell death under Abeta treatment, and one of active constituents may be eleutheroside B.  (+info)

Extract from Acanthopanax senticosus harms (Siberian ginseng) activates NTS and SON/PVN in the rat brain. (8/12)

The extract of the stem bark of Siberian ginseng, Acanthopanax senticosus Harms (ASH), is believed to play a body-coping role in stress through a brain noradrenergic mechanism. The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of ASH on the neuronal activation patterns of c-Fos expression in the rat brain. With ASH administration, c-Fos accumulated in both the supraoptic nuclei (SON) and paraventricular nuclei (PVN), which regulate stress response. Only the caudal regions in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), a locus innervating both the SON and PVN, were activated. Such a neuro-anatomical pattern associated with ASH suggests the possible involvement of these stress-related brain loci.  (+info)