Prototype ginsenosides vs. Rare ginsenosides

  • 08 Feb 2021
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Ginsenosides are a group of glycosylated triterpenes, also known as saponins, that represent the active compounds found in the root Panax. Based on many studies indicating the pharmacological properties of ginsenosides, many ginseng products have been developed to cater to people’s healthcare demands. A good case is the ginseng chocolate developed by the scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Vladivostok, Russia, which contains ginsenosides and other nutrients. Does this kind of ginseng products really bring great health benefits? A distinction between prototype ginsenoside and rare ginsenosides is needed in order to solve this question.


Prototype ginsenosides

Prototype ginsenosides, also known as ginsenosides, are the main components extracted directly from the Araliaceae plants such as American ginseng, Panax ginseng, and Notoginseng. Prototype ginsenosides include R1, Ra1, Ra2, Ra3, Rb1, Rb2, Rb3, Rc, Rd, Rg1 etc. Despite various pharmacological properties, they are characterized by high molecular weight, which makes it difficult to be absorbed by human bodies and leads to poor bioavailability.


Rare ginsenosides

Rare ginsenosides are metabolites of prototype ginsenosides, Rg3、Rh2、Rh3 、Rk1 、Rk2、aPPT and aPPD included. When digested and degraded by enzymes and gut flora, prototype ginsenosides are converted and metabolized into rare ginsenosides with small molecular weights that greatly facilitate their absorption and utilization.


The outstanding pharmacological properties of rare ginsenosides

Rare ginsenosides have been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities by various mechanisms of action, and their potential health benefits include

✔antioxidation

✔anti-inflammation

✔anti-fatigue

✔anti-aging

✔anti-tumor activity

✔stress relief

✔immunity boost

✔cognition support

✔central nervous system support

✔lung function boost

✔health glucose promotion


Advanced biotransformation technology involved in the preparation of rare ginsenosides

The types and numbers of gut flora are different in individuals, which results in huge differences in the absorption and utilization of ginsenosides. Generally speaking, ginseng can only exert anticancer effects on very few people and most people obtain no anticancer efficacy. When overdosed, ginseng can cause some side effects like getting excessive internal heat and increasing blood pressure. Therefore, high-tech biotransformation technology and preparation technology are required to convert ginsenosides into rare ginsenosides that are superior to high active anticancer activities.


The majority of ginseng products in the current market do not contain rare ginsenosides

Ginseng products available on the market actually contain prototype ginsenosides instead of rare ginsenosides. Even if rare ginsenosides are included in these products, the amount is extremely low. Most ginseng products are of ginseng powers or prototype ginsenosides, and the net content of the total ginsenosides shown in the ingredient statement actually refers to that of prototype ginsenosides.

Compared with the extraction of prototype ginsenosides, the preparation of rare ginsenosides in large quantities involves much more advanced biotechnology and preparation technology. Many pharmaceutical companies lack these core technologies, which is why the majority of ginseng products do not contain rare ginsenosides.

When buying rare ginsenoside products, customers should be more cautious to confirm whether rare ginsenosides are the main components. The best rare ginsenoside products on the market are those with multiple highly active rare ginsenosides and high concentrations of active ingredients.

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