Ginseng is a traditional medicinal herb in some Asian counties that has long been used to treat various diseases over 2,000 years. It is widely accepted by western counties where a ginseng culture has been deeply cultivated for years.
The health benefits of ginseng are attributed to its pharmacologically active constituents, ginsenosides. Ginsenosides drew wide attention of scientists when they were found with brilliant anticancer properties. Until now, about 120 kinds of ginsenoside have been isolated and identified, and ginsenosides Rh2, Rg3, Rb1, Rk2, Rh3, aPPD are best-known ones.
Ginsenoside Rg3 is a rare metabolized ginsenoside. Compared to prototype ginsenosides (R1, Ra1, Ra2, Ra3, Rb1, Rb2, Rb3, Rc, Rd, Rg1, etc), ginsenoside Rg3 has better bioavailability and absorption in the human gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have made great efforts in studying the mechanisms of action of ginsenoside Rg3 in fighting cancer cells.
Ginsenoside Rg3 stops cancer cells from growing and spread
Compared to normal cells, cancer cells usually grow faster and more aggressive, and chemotherapy drugs work by stopping cancer cells from growing and spread to other parts of the body. Ginsenoside Rg3 has been shown to exert remarkable toxicity on cancer cells, including human prostate carcinoma cell lines, human colon cancer cell lines, human breast cancer cell lines, etc.
Ginsenoside Rg3 kills cancer cells
Apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, is a natural process through which cells with DNA too damaged to repair can be forced to die. Apoptosis can lead cancer cells that grow out of control to death. A previous study found that ginsenoside Rg3 induced apoptosis by activating pro-apoptotic factors in the HT-29 colon cancer cells and AGS human gastric cancer cells.
Ginsenoside Rg3 blocks the formation of new cancer blood vessels
The tumor can form new blood vessels that provide cancer cells with oxygen and nutrients to grow and spread to other organs. Ginsenoside Rg3 has been found to prevent tumors from forming new blood vessels in the human esophageal carcinoma cell line, Eca-109, and in the renal cell carcinoma cell line, 786-0 cells.
A study published in the International Journal of Oncology investigated whether ginsenoside Rg3 are good for colorectal cancer treatment. Researchers found that ginsenoside Rg3 inhibited the growth and stemness of colorectal cancer cells in vitro and in vivo experiment and also repressed the formation of new blood vessels in animal models.
Ginsenoside Rg3 reverses the multidrug resistance and increases chemosensitivity
Cancer cells are resilient, and they can evolve and develop resistance to anticancer drugs, which weakens the efficacy of anticancer drugs. Many study results have indicated that ginsenoside Rg3 can reverse the multidrug resistance in various cancer cells to enhance the efficacy of anticancer drugs. For example, ginsenoside Rg3, combined with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel, was found to significantly enhance the sensitivity of cancer cells and decrease drug resistance in prostate cancer and colon cancer cells.
Ginsenoside Rg3 in Clinical studies
Having seen the promising anticancer effects of ginsenoside Rg3, some counties lead ahead in applying ginsenoside Rg3 into cancer treatment. In China, ginsenoside Rg3 has been approved as adjuvant therapy in cancer treatment. In a high-quality meta-analysis of clinical trials, ginsenoside Rg3 plus chemotherapy increase the incidence of short-term efficacy, improve the quality of life and survival rate in comparison to chemotherapy alone. Still, more clinical trials are needed to confirm the efficacy of ginsenoside Rg3 in human bodies.
If you are looking for a supplement to enhance the immunity or help fight cancer, ginsenoside Rg3 can be a good choice. Besides, It is important to know that other metabolized rare ginsenosides like Rh2, Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD were found to be more bioactive in some studies, and high-quality ginsenoside products are featured with multiple metabolized rare ginsenosides in high concentration. And it is important to speak to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.