High cholesterol is a health risk and concern for many people. To keep it at healthy level, we are advised to monitor our diet, to exercise, to seek medical attention and to take supplements or medicines.

Diet wise, common sense advise is to reduce intake of high cholesterol foods, increase intake of low cholesterol foods and phytosterol rich foods.

To add to this natural means of prevention and treament of high cholesterol in blood, scientists in Korea are looking at the potenial benefits of ginseng.

Ginseng is a traditional oriental herbal medicine used for improving sexual and general body vitality, treating erectile dysfunction, enhancing the immune system, reducing inflammation and boosting memory.

The scientists in Korea wanted to examine if it also has any effect on blood cholesterol. They treated rats on high cholesterol diet with black ginseng (steamed ginseng) extract and placebo for 4 weeks. They reported that rats treated with black ginseng showed statistically significant reduction in total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), and no change in high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol), compared to the ones treated with placebo.

Their research was reported in the April 2016 edition of the Journal of Ginseng Research.

Reference:

Evelyn Saba, Bo Ra Jeon, Da-Hye Jeong, Kija Lee, Youn-Kyoung Goo, Seung-Hyung Kim,4 Chang-Keun Sung, Seong-Soo Roh, Sung Dae Kim, Hyun-Kyoung Kim, and Man-Hee Rhee (2016). Black ginseng extract ameliorates hypercholesterolemia in rats. Journal of Ginseng Research, 2016 April, 40(2): 160–168.

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