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Ginseng improves cholesterol in type 2 diabetes

Ginseng is an adaptogen—a substance that helps the body respond to stress, and has been used in Asia for centuries. American ginseng, native to North America and cultivated in China, is in such high demand that some U.S. states have declared it an endangered species.

In this study, 24 men and women with type 2 diabetes, overweight with elevated long-term average blood sugar levels (HbA1C), took a placebo or 1,000 mg of American ginseng per day, in alternating eight-week phases.

While the placebo group did not improve, during the ginseng phase, LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, decreased an average of 12.3 percent, and the ratio of LDL to HDL, the “bad” to “good” cholesterol, decreased 13.9 percent.

Long-term and fasting blood sugar levels also declined, by 0.29 percent and 12.78 milligrams per deciliter of blood, respectively. Systolic blood pressure also declined by an average of 5.6 mmHg for ginseng.

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