Anti-Stress Effects of Ginseng in Immobilization-Stressed Rats

  • Choi, Eun-Ha (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Lee, Hyun-Jung (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Kim, Cheol-Jin (Korea Food Research Institute) ;
  • Kim, Jong-Tae (Korea Food Research Institute) ;
  • Kwun, In-Sook (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Andong National University) ;
  • Kim, Yang-Ha (Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Ewha Womans University)
  • 발행 : 2004.09.01


Stress is a global menace exacerbated by the advancement of industrialization. Failure of stress management is to a breakdown of the psychological and physiological protection mechanisms against stress. The aim of present study was to investigate the anti-stress potential of ginseng against immobilization stress. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=24) were divided into three groups; (i) control, (ii) immobilization stress (2hr daily, for 2 weeks), and (iii) immobilization stress (2 hr daily, for 2 weeks) plus oral administration of ginseng (200 mg/kg BW Id). Immobilization stress resulted in a significant inhibition of body weight gain by 45 % and a significant decrease in the tissue weights of thymus and spleen (p < 0.05). The concentrations of blood GOT and GPT were significantly increased in the immobilization-stressed group compared to the control group (p < 0.05). There were no differences in the blood cholesterol levels among groups. Ginseng administration in the immobilization-stressed group tended to reverse the lack of body weight gain and food intake, though not significantly. The ginseng-administered group showed a significant reversal in the stress-induced effect on spleen and thymus weight, increasing the tissue weights by 16% and 20%, respectively, compared to immobilization-stressed group (p<0.05). The plasma corticosterone level was significantly increased in the stressed group by 39 % compared to the control group (p<0.05), but ginseng administration significantly reversed the stress-induced increase in plasma corticosterone by 15 % compared to the immobilization-stressed group. The present study suggests that the anti-stress effect of ginseng is mediated by normalization of stress-induced changes in the circulating hormones and a reversal of tissue weight loss, thereby returning the body to normal homeostasis.


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