Ginsenoside Rh2 has almost become synonymous with ginsenosides among people who are familiar with ginsenoside Rh2. Nearly all rare ginsenoside products available on center on the inclusion of ginsenoside Rh2.
Why is ginsenoside Rh2 the most widely used?
Ginsenosides are a group of glycosylated triterpenes, also known as saponins, that represent the active compounds found in the root Panax. Since ginsenosides were discovered to exhibit anticancer activities in the 1960s, scientists have been conducting years of research in this field, and up to now, more than 100 kinds of ginsenosides have been identified.
Although a variety of ginsenosides had been found, it was very difficult to prepare ginsenosides in large quantities, which was limited to the technological challenges in extracting and isolating ginsenosides from Araliaceae plants.
Ginsenoside Rh2 was discovered earlier and scientists have conducted a broad research on it. The extraction of ginsenoside Rh2 involves fewer difficulties, making it relatively easy to prepare ginsenoside Rh2 in large quantities.
Is ginsenoside Rh2 more effective against cancers?
Although ginsenoside Rh2 is widely used, its antitumor activity is not outstanding among ginsenosides like Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD. Scientists have discovered a group of ginsenosides that have stronger anticancer activities than ginsenoside Rh2. Through the experimental measurement, scientists compared the anticancer activities of some commonly used ginsenosides and the results are as follows:
Rh1 < Rg3 <Rg5≈Rk1< Rh2≈aPPT <Rh3≈Rk2 < aPPD
It can be seen that ginsenoside Rh2, as well as ginsenoside Rg3, shows no advantages in anticancer activity. Instead, ginsenoside Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD are superior in anticancer efficacy.
Ginsenosides like Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD are highly active against cancers
Thanks to years of hard working scientific research, scientists have overcome a series of challenges in the large-scale preparation of highly active ginsenosides. As a result, some highly active ginsenosides such as aPPD, Rk2 and Rh3 have been put into applications. These ginsenosides like Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD are superior to ginsenoside Rh2 and Rh3 for various reasons. Firstly, they are more inhibitory and toxic to cancer cells; Secondly, they are with smaller molecular weights which makes them more penetrating to interact with cancer cells; Finally, they are more fat-soluble and easily absorbed.
In conclusion, ginsenoside Rh2 is not the best choice despite a wide application in rare ginsenoside products, and more active ginsenosides like Rk2, Rh3 and aPPD will win a predominant popularity among customers in the years to come.