Chemopreventive Effects of Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng Meyer) on Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

  • Received : 2010.12.28
  • Accepted : 2011.04.20
  • Published : 2011.09.25


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are well known environmental carcinogens. PAH metabolites, especially BaP-7,8- dihydrodiol, 9,10 epoxide, initiate carcinogenesis via high specificity binding to DNA to form DNA adducts. The Korean red ginseng (KRG) from Panax ginseng has been suggested to protect against damages due to PAH exposure but the mechanism is unknown. Therefore, we investigated effects of KRG on PAH exposure using toxicokinetic methods and changes of PAH-induced oxidative damage during a 2 week-clinical trial (n=21 healthy young female, $23.71{\pm}2.43$ years). To analyze antioxidative effects of KRG, we measured changes in the levels of urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) before and after KRG treatment. We observed a significant positive association between levels of urinary MDA and 1-hydroxypyrene, a biomarker of PAH exposures (slope=1.47, p=0.03) and confirmed oxidative stress induced by PAH exposures. A reverse significant correlation between KRG treatment and level of urinary MDA was observed (p=0.03). In summary, results of our clinical trial study suggest that KRG plays a significant role in antioxidative as well as toxicokinetic pathways against PAHs exposure.


Korean red ginseng;Aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons;1-Hydroxypyrene;Malondialdehyde;Chemoprevention


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