HYPOTHESIS/ PURPOSE: To compare the anti-inflammatory activities and the anti-nociceptive properties of RG and BG.
METHODS: Nitric Oxide (NO) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromide (MTT) assay, quantitative Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR), western blot, xylene-induced ear edema, carrageenan-induced paw edema RESULTS: The ginsenoside contents were confirmed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and has been altered through increased processing. The highest concentration of these extracts inhibited NO production to near-basal levels in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 without exhibiting cytotoxicity. Pro-inflammatory cytokine expression at the mRNA level was investigated using qRT-PCR. Comparatively, BG exhibited better inhibition of pro-inflammatory mediators, iNOS and COX-2 and pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Protein expression was determined using western blot analysis and BG exhibited stronger inhibition. Xylene-induced ear edema model in mice and carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats were carried out and tested with the effects of ginseng as well as dexamethasone and indomethacin - commonly used drugs. BG is a more potent anti-inflammatory agent, possesses anti-nociceptive properties, and has a strong potency comparable to the NSAIDs.
CONCLUSION: BG has more potent anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects due to the change in ginsenoside component with increased processing.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover design, participants (N = 24) received two doses of Panax Ginseng (500, 1000 mg) or Ginkgo Biloba (120, 240 mg) (N = 24), and underwent a series of cognitive tests while systolic, diastolic, and heart rate readings were taken. Ginkgo Biloba improved aspects of executive functioning (Stroop and Berg tasks) in females but not in males. Ginseng had no effect on cognition. Ginkgo biloba in females reversed the initial (i.e. placebo) increase in cardiovascular reactivity (systolic and diastolic readings increased compared to baseline) to cognitive tasks. This effect (reversal) was most notable after those tasks (Stroop and Iowa) that elicited the greatest cardiovascular reactivity during placebo. In males, although ginkgo also decreased cardiovascular readings, it did so from an initial (placebo) blunted response (i.e. decrease or no change from baseline) to cognitive tasks. Ginseng, on the contrary, increased cardiovascular readings compared to placebo.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that cardiovascular reactivity may be a mechanism by which ginkgo but not ginseng, in females is associated with certain forms of cognitive improvement.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02386852.