Of the 35 heavy metals in our environment, cadmium is one of the most toxic to humans. It is an environmental contaminant toxic to all living organisms. It is widely used in industry: in electric batteries, fertilizers, etc. Acute toxic doses of cadmium in humans result in damage to lungs, kidney, and especially the liver.
Korean red ginseng (Panax ginseng) regulates the immune system and fights infections. Red ginseng is 6 year old processed ginseng. Ginsenosides are the active chemicals in Korean ginseng. This study was done to see if Korean red ginseng can prevent liver damage from toxic exposure to cadmium. Rats were given Korean red ginseng extract (RGE) for 7 days prior to being given cadmium to produce liver damage. The rats received 25 to 50 mg/kg of RGE for pretreatment.
Cadmium causes elevation of specific enzymes in the blood which indicate liver damage. Animals given pretreatment with RGE had reduced blood enzyme elevations resulting from cadmium-related liver damage. On microscopic testing of the liver tissues, cadmium caused severe damage to liver tissue which was reduced by treatment with RGE. This resulted in fewer inflammatory cells. The reduction of liver glutathione (GSH)* seen with cadmium damage was reduced by RGE treatment. Protein markers of cell death (apoptosis**) were reduced. Toxic levels of cadmium may cause ‘bad protein’ to migrate to the cellular mitochondria, causing apoptosis. This was prevented by RGE and was previously shown to be prevented by licorice herb (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
CONCLUSION: Korean red ginseng extract reduces the liver damage caused by acute cadmium toxicity, primarily by anti-oxidation and anti-apoptosis activities.
NOTES: *GSH is an antioxidant necessary for detoxification of many heavy metals and chemicals by the liver. Every molecule of toxin to be removed from our bodies requires a molecule of GSH to complete the process. The body becomes depleted of GSH when it is very toxic, but liver GSH may be increased by treatment with milk thistle (Silybum marianum).
**Apoptosis is natural cell death by internal ‘suicide’.
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Rainbow Grocery has the following products: Korean red ginseng, liquids, capsules, tablets, milk thistle, and licorice herb.
Summary #953. nutrientmedicine