Ginsenosides are natural compounds extracted from Araliaceae plants like Panax ginseng. Since ginsenosides were found to exhibit anticancer property in the 1960s, scientists have been working on the study of rare ginsenosides.
With in-depth research on ginsenosides, scientist found that rare ginsenosides, the metabolite of prototype ginsenosides, exhibit more powerful anticancer activities in many aspects, including inhibiting angiogenesis in malignant lesions, alleviating toxicity induced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy and increasing drug sensitivity, reversing multiple drug resistance of malignant cells and delaying drug-resistant cycle.
Ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3 were the first rare ginsenosides found to exhibit anti-cancer effects which were put into application in some countries since the early 20th century. Due to the limited anticancer activity, however, they were not well-received by the patients. With the research going further, Scientists found some more potent rare ginsenosides and ginsenosides like Rk2, aPPD, Rh3 and aPPT present higher anticancer activities, comparing with ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3.
There are three reasons why ginsenosides Rk3 outperform ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3.
More toxic to cancerous cells. Scientists compared the toxicity of different ginsenosides on cancer cells and found that when used to treat cancer cells such as lung cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and the like, ginsenoside Rk2, aPPD, Rh3 and aPPT exhibited stronger anticancer activity than ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3. For example, ginsenoside Rk2 was two times more toxic than ginsenoside Rh2 against lung cancer cells; The anticancer activity of ginsenoside Rk2 is at least three times more than of Rh2 in treating liver cancer.
Lower molecular weight. Only when entering into and interacting with the cancer tissues and cells, ginsenosides get chances to fight cancerous cells. Usually, rare ginsenosides with lower molecular weight are more penetrable into cancerous cells. There are some protective barriers in the body like blood-brain barrier which makes it difficult for the macromolecules to penetrate into the brain. Since ginsenosides Rk2, aPPD, Rh3, aPPT have lower molecular weight than ginsenoside Rh2 and Rg3, they are easier to penetrate into and kill cancer cells.
More lipid soluble.The more lipid soluble, the easier for medicine to be absorbed by the body, which Dozens of studies have shown that ginsenosides Rk2, aPPD, Rh3, aPPT were more fat-soluble than ginsenosides Rh2 and Rg3, resulting in higher activity in cancer-fighting.
With the products containing Rk2, aPPD, Rh3 and aPPT available on the market, these highly active ginsenosides will play an increasingly important role in enhancing human health.