As we age, we can’t easily absorb calcium from diets, and our body instead will take calcium from bones to support function. If we suffer calcium deficiency in the long run, our bones will become porous and hollow and finally lead to osteoporosis.
Ginseng may play a positive role in promoting bone health. Known as a traditional medicinal herb, ginseng has been widely used to help longevity and help treat minor diseases. It has been recently accepted to support bone health, in addition to aid in energy enhancement, psychological stress endurance, fatigue relief as an adaptogen.
Ginsenosides, the active ingredients mainly contributing to the health benefits of ginseng, have been found to exhibit antiosteoporosis activity.
Both lab and animal studies suggested that ginsenosides could potentially help promote bone formation from bone marrow stromal cells and preosteoblast cells and support the treatment of osteoporosis.
Recently, ginseng has been officially listed as a functional ingredient for bone health in South Korea. This decision was made based on a clinical study in which ginseng extract treatment showed 11.6 times higher bone structure markers and 3 times higher increase in calcium concentration.
It is worth noting that taking ginseng directly can hardly help bone health. This is because ginsenosides naturally occurring in ginseng are a large molecular weight and can’t be absorbed by the human body. Therefore, neither fresh ginseng slices nor raw ginseng powders are good choices for health-promoting purposes.
Instead, products containing high amounts of rare ginsenosides are what is best-valued. Rare ginsenosides (Rh2, Rg3, Rk2, Rh3, aPPD, etc) are metabolized from naturally occurring ginsenosides, and they show higher bioactivity and better absorption.