Ginseng extract may counter alcohol-related depression: Mouse data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

iStock
iStock

Related tags: Ginseng, Brain

A standardized extract from ginseng (Panax ginseng) may reverse symptoms of depression in an animal model of alcohol use disorder, suggests a new study.

Lab mice treated with ethanol displayed symptoms of depression similar to those observed in humans with severe drinking problems, also known as alcohol use disorder. However, when the mice were given doses of the ginseng extract G115 (Ginsana SA, Switzerland) these detrimental changes were reversed.

Scientists from Chulalongkorn University and Khon Kaen University in Thailand report that the effects of high doses of the ginseng extract were similar to those observed for amitriptyline, a common anti-depressant drug.

“[W]e provide the evidence of the antidepressant-like effect of ginseng extract G115 in normal and ethanol-induced depression in mice,” ​they wrote in Nutrients​.

BDNF

Commenting on the potential mechanism of action, the researchers noted that this is linked to an increase in levels of BDNF - brain-derived neurotrophic factor – in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex parts of the brain.

BDNF is essential for synaptic and neuronal plasticity in the brain, and many neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases are reported to involve an impairment of the BDNF signaling pathway. Alcohol is also known to reduce BDNF levels in the brain, and “subtle” decreases in BDNF were observed in select brain regions of alcohol-treated mice in this study, wrote the researchers.

Study details

Lab mice were divided into 12 groups, with eight mice per group: Six groups were fed a normal diet, and six were treated with ethanol to induce depression, and given nothing (control groups), amitriptyline, or increasing doses of ginseng (100, 200, 400, 800 mg/kg).

“[The] effect of ginseng extract G115 is comparable to amitriptyline, an antidepressant used as a positive control in this study,” ​wrote the researchers. “Moreover, the potent effect of various doses of G115 (100, 200, and 800 mg/kg) is observed as changes of immobility time and swimming time in mice receiving these doses plus ethanol were also significantly higher than those in controls.

“The dose-independent effect of G115 in this study was noticeable as G115 100 and 800 mg/kg produced higher antidepressant effects than G115 200 and 400 mg/kg […] As G115 is composed of various ginsenosides, the interaction of the compounds might lead to the increase or decrease of pharmacological responses observed in this study.”

Source: Nutrients
2017, Volume 9, Issue 9, Page 931; doi:10.3390/nu9090931
“Ginseng Extract G115 Attenuates Ethanol-Induced Depression in Mice by Increasing Brain BDNF Levels”
Authors: W. Boonlert et al. 

Related topics: Research, Cognitive function, Botanicals

Related news

Related products

show more

DHA ORIGINS™: The sustainable potential of algae.

DHA ORIGINS™: The sustainable potential of algae.

Fermentalg | 22-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Consumers find out about nutritional quality by closely scrutinizing the labeling and list of ingredients (clean label). They are interested in the provenance...

Botanicals & Immunity: Trends & Research

Botanicals & Immunity: Trends & Research

Layn Natural Ingredients: Innovate With Our Botanical Extracts | 17-Jun-2020 | Research Study

Google Trends shows consumer searches of “Immunity” are up more than 700% in 2020 - and nutraceutical consumers are looking to botanicals. Find out everything...

Meriva® Curcumin Phytosome – The Life Guardian™

Meriva® Curcumin Phytosome – The Life Guardian™

Indena: botanical ingredients for the Health Food industry | 17-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Meriva® is Indena’s bioavailable curcumin – the most studied turmeric ingredient having over 30 studies with more than 2,000 individuals

Natreon Immunity White Paper

Natreon Immunity White Paper

Natreon Inc. | 09-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Read through Natreon’s White Paper on Immunity Support to learn more about how Ayurvedic ingredients, Sensoril® Ashwagandha, Capros® Amla, and PrimaVie®...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars