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Effects of red ginseng supplementation on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Kim, Sun Young MD1; Seo, Seok Kyo MD2; Choi, Young Mi MD2; Jeon, Young Eun MD1; Lim, Kyung Jin MD2; Cho, SiHyun MD1; Choi, Young Sik MD2; Lee, Byung Seok MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3182325e4b
Original Articles
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Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of red ginseng (RG) on menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women.

Methods A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial was conducted with postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 60 years. A total of 72 women were randomly assigned to either an RG group (supplemented with 3 g of RG, including 60 mg of ginsenosides, per day) or a placebo group for 12 weeks. We analyzed changes in menopausal symptoms (the Kupperman index and the menopause rating scale), cardiovascular risk factors (lipid profiles, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and carotid intima-media thickness), and serum estradiol levels from baseline to 12 weeks.

Results Significant improvements in the Kupperman index (P = 0.032) and in the menopause rating scale (P = 0.035) scores were observed in the RG group compared with the placebo group. Total cholesterol (P = 0.009) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.015) significantly decreased in the group receiving RG. The RG group also showed a significant decrease in carotid intima-media thickness (P = 0.049). Serum estradiol levels were not influenced by RG supplementation.

Conclusions RG could be an attractive herbal dietary supplement for relieving menopausal symptoms and conferring favorable effects on markers of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.

Red ginseng could be an attractive herbal dietary supplement for the relief of menopausal symptoms and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

From the 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea; and 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Recieved May 11, 2011; revised and accepted August 11, 2011.

Funding/support: This work was supported by a 2009 grant from the Korean Society of Ginseng funded by the Korea Ginseng Corporation.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Byung Seok Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 146-92 Dogok-dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-720, Republic of Korea. E-mail: dr222@yuhs.ac

©2012The North American Menopause Society