Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 2000; 9(4): 209-218

Published online December 31, 2000

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

Body Fat Decreasing Mechanisms of Red Ginseng Compound

Seung Joon Oh,Young Seol Kim,Cheol Young Park,Sung Woon Kim,In Myung Yang,Jin Woo Kim,Young Kil Choi,Jeng Ryung Paeng,Hyun Dae Shin1

Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinol Research Institute Kyung Hee University Seoul Medicine, department of Oriental Rehabilization Medicine, Kyung Hee University, School of Oriental Medicien


The effects of red ginseng compound preparation in weight loss have been confirmed, though its specific mechanism is unclear. The changes in both clinical and lab results show body fat reduction through increase in energy metabolism after the administration. Therefore the effects of red ginseng compound preparation are likely to be caused by activation of sympathetic nervous system by beta-adrenalin system. The experiment was done in order to confirm this hypothesis on cellular level by administrating red ginseng compound preparation and extracting peripheral WBC to analyze adrenalin activation and its receptor RNA. Calorie-restricted diet and red ginseng compound preparation were given to 20 obese patients (BMI > 27 kg/m2) and 10 controls for duration of 4 weeks. (male to female ratio was 5:15) Changes in weight were from 80.5±15.3 kg (base line) to 79.2±14.7 kg (after taking red ginseng compound preparation) in the patient group, but in the control group did not decrease significantly. In similar sense, BMI decreased from 30.9±4.5 kg/m2 (base line) to 30.4±4.3 kg/m2 (after taking red ginseng compound preparation) in the patient group. However, BMI was not decreased in control group. Waist hip ratio was unchanged in both groups. The percent body fat was 35.16% (base line), 33.87% (after dieting), and 31.68% (after taking red ginseng compound preparation). Plasma epinephrine was increased in the patient group from 0.15±0.08 ng/mL to 0.21±0.07 ng/mL, but in the control group, the epinephrine level was decreased from 0.17±0.07 ng/mL to 0.14±0.05 ng/mL. The plasma norepinephrine levels of both groups showed no particular difference. To observe the possibility of 3 receptor expression, RT-PCR was done before and after drug administration. The results showed significant increase in receptor expression in both groups, in patient group increased from 0.87±0.45 to 1.79±0.78, and also increased in the control group from 0.62±0.33 to 0.91±0.53. The increase is quite significant in the patient group. The cAMP production which reflects the activity of beta-adrenaline was 10.1±6.1 S.I in patient group and 7.1±3.9 S.I in the control before drug administration. After administration, these changed to 12.3±6.1 S.I in the patient group and 4.8±1.4 S.I in the control group. Although this seems to show some increase in the patient group, it had no significant meaning statistically. The results shown above showed that the effects of red ginseng compound preparation in weight loss seem to result from increase in beta adrenaline activity, though this has not much meaning statistically. In particular, when we look at the increase of beta 3 adrenaline receptors in patient group, it can be that the effect of red ginseng compound preparation is lipolysis through the beta 3 receptor.

Keywords: Obesity, Red Ginseng, β3 Adrenergic Receptor