Horm Metab Res 2005; 37(3): 146-151
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-861299
Original Clinical
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Improvement of Insulin Resistance by Panax Ginseng in Fructose-rich Chow-fed Rats

T.-P.  Liu1 , I.-M.  Liu2 , J.-T.  Cheng3
  • 1Department of General Surgery, Mackay Memorial Hospital, and Mackay Nursing College, Taipei City, Taiwan, R.O.C.
  • 2Department of Pharmacy, Tajen Institute of Technology, Yen-Pou, Ping Tung Shien, Taiwan, R.O.C
  • 3Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan, R.O.C
Further Information

Publication History

Received 29 June 2004

Accepted after revision 19 August 2004

Publication Date:
12 April 2005 (online)


In an attempt to probe a new target for handling insulin resistance, we used Panax ginseng root to screen the effect on insulin resistance induced by fructose-rich chow in rats. Insulin action on glucose disposal rate was measured using the glucose-insulin index, which is the product of the areas under the curve of glucose and insulin during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. Oral administration of Panax ginseng root (125.0 mg/kg) into rats three times daily for three days after receiving fructose-rich chow for four weeks reversed the increased glucose-insulin index, indicating that Panax ginseng root has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity. In addition, the plasma glucose concentrations in rats repeatedly treated with Panax ginseng root were not elevated as markedly as those of the vehicle-treated group during the fructose-rich chow-feeding period. Also, the time in which the plasma glucose-lowering response to tolbutamide (10.0 mg/kg, i. p.) receded in fructose-rich chow fed rats was markedly delayed by repeated Panax ginseng root treatment compared to the vehicle-treated group. The plasma glucose-lowering activity of tolbutamide is believed to depend on the secretion of endogenous insulin, which is widely used as an indicator of insulin resistance development. Thus, it provided supportive data that oral administration of Panax ginseng root could delay the development of insulin resistance in rats. In conclusion, our results suggest that oral administration of Panax ginseng root improves insulin sensitivity and may be used as an adjuvant therapy for treating diabetic patients with insulin resistance.


Prof. Juei-Tang Cheng

Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University

Tainan City · Taiwan 70101 · R.O.C.

Phone: +886 (6) 237-2706

Fax: +886 (6) 238-6548 ·

Email: jtcheng@mail.ncku.edu.tw