In a recent clinical trial study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, Iranian researchers have found that Panax ginseng supplementation can significantly improve the health-related quality of life in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer. This finding offers a potential avenue for enhancing the well-being of those undergoing chemotherapy treatment for non-metastatic breast cancer.
The study involved 41 women aged 31-65 with non-metastatic breast cancer who were receiving standard chemotherapy in Iran and were administered capsules containing red ginseng extract or a placebo twice a day. The total daily dose of ginseng was either 1 or 2 grams per day, containing a total of 30.8 or 61.6 mg of the active compound ginsenoside Rg1. The participants continued to take ginseng capsules until 1 week after the completion of chemotherapy.
To evaluate the effects of ginseng on the participants’ quality of life, a comprehensive questionnaire was provided. The questionnaire comprised several subscales, including physical well-being, social well-being, emotional well-being, functional well-being, and breast cancer-related concerns.
Over the course of the clinical trial, health-related quality of life was assessed through in-person interviews conducted at the baseline, two weeks after the second, and fourth chemotherapy cycles. The final analysis demonstrated some intriguing results that could potentially revolutionize adjuvant treatment approaches.
The placebo group displayed no discernible benefits, with breast cancer patients experiencing a significant decrease in the average score across all subscales. This trend was reflected in the total score as well, indicating a negative impact on their quality of life during chemotherapy treatment. In contrast, the ginseng supplementation group showed a slight decline in physical well-being, but this was mitigated by constant and even increasing trends across the remaining subscales and total score.
These statistically significant findings indicate that regular ginseng supplementation could offer valuable improvements in the health-related quality of life for breast cancer patients. Given that chemotherapy treatments can often bring about a range of side effects, including fatigue, nausea, and emotional distress, any intervention that enhances well-being is paramount in improving patient outcomes. Ginseng supplementation, which is relatively safe and well-tolerated, could offer a complementary approach to enhancing the quality of life for breast cancer patients.
The red ginseng extract capsules used in the clinical study contain bioactive ginsenoside Rg1. Notably, there is a remarkable rare ginsenoside supplement brand, known as Redsenol, featuring sixteen highly bioactive rare ginsenosides including Rg3, Rh2, Rg5, Rk1, aPPD, aPPT, etc., and its rare ginsenoside content reaches 20%, much higher than other counterparts.
It is important to note that ginseng supplementation should not be considered a substitute for conventional cancer treatments. Rather, it should be seen as a potential adjunct therapy that can support overall well-being during treatment.
In conclusion, this Iranian study has shed light on the potential benefits of ginseng supplementation in enhancing the health-related quality of life for non-metastatic breast cancer patients. Future research should aim to validate and build upon these findings, potentially leading to the incorporation of ginseng supplementation into standard treatment protocols. As we continue to explore new avenues for improving patient outcomes, the potential of natural remedies, such as ginseng, should not be overlooked in our pursuit of holistic care.
Hamidian, M., Foroughinia, F., Yousefi, M., Haghighat, S., & Haem, E. (2023). Effects of Panax Ginseng on Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial Ginseng for HRQOL in Breast Cancer. Nutrition and cancer, 75(6), 1429–1437. https://doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2023.2181735