The research results showed that the group consuming ginseng exhibited higher episodic memory scores (EMS)
Through continuous research, the secrets of ginseng, a representative medicinal herb of Korea, are being revealed, showcasing its efficacy. Recently, studies demonstrating the effects of consistent consumption of red ginseng on improving dementia and cognitive function have been announced one after another, attracting attention.
The Korean Society of Ginseng’s spring academic conference in 2023 witnessed Konyang University’s Institute for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Research and Korea Ginseng Corporation’s Natural Products Research Institute revealing the mechanism by which ginsenoside compounds in ginseng reduce cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. The research team divided a total of 18 rats into three groups (normal group, Alzheimer’s disease-induced rats, and Alzheimer’s disease-induced rats administered with ginsenoside compound) to analyze changes in brain proteins and metabolites. The results indicated that the protein changes inducing damage to brain synapses (the junction between nerve cells) and mitochondria in the Alzheimer’s disease-induced group were restored to the levels of the normal group through the administration of the ginsenoside compound.
Furthermore, a research team in the Department of Psychiatry from Hallym University’s Sacred Heart Hospital Dongtan confirmed that regular consumption of ginseng helps in preventing cognitive decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The team conducted an observational study on the relationship between ginseng and cognitive function, targeting 160 individuals aged 65 to 90 who did not have dementia. The research results showed that the group consuming ginseng exhibited higher episodic memory scores (EMS). Among individuals without the Apolipoprotein E4 gene mutation, which increases the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, consuming Korean ginseng was found to be effective in improving EMS. Especially, those who had consumed ginseng for more than 5 years showed even more pronounced effects in preventing the decline of initial Alzheimer’s disease-associated cognitive functions.
These research results demonstrate the potential utility of ginseng as a candidate for preventing and improving conditions like dementia and mild cognitive impairment. In addition, these findings shed light on why ginseng has been cherished as a top health supplement for centuries, gaining the love of many people and securing its place as a valuable national export item and a premium gift representing Korea.