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Y.T. Szeto, A.W. Ko

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2013;2(2):174-177

Ginseng is regarded as the ‘miracle’ herb or supplement in the traditional Chinese medicine. Minimizing DNA damage is thought to contribute to longevity. Previous study on ginseng aqueous extract showed in vitro DNA protection on human lymphocytes against oxidative stress. In the current study, the potential DNA protective effect on lymphocytes after supplementation of commercial ginseng extract was measured by comet assay. Seven volunteers were requested to ingest 200 mL water with five capsules of ginseng extract. On the other occasions, seven volunteers took 200 mL of water only as the control trial. Venous blood samples before ingestion were taken. Subjects were requested to keep fasting and the second blood sample was taken at 2.5 hours. Lymphocyte was isolated and subjected to comet assay. DNA damage of isolated lymphocytes was induced by 50 μM H2O2 and the level of damage of was graded under fluorescence microscope. Results showed that there was significant decrease (77% lower) in comet score in ginseng treatment group. No significant change of DNA damage in water treatment group was observed. In conclude, a normal dose of commercial ginseng extract was able to lower DNA damage of peripheral lymphocyte within 2.5 hours of ingestion.

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