Red Ginseng stimulates muscle growth, increases stamina
Ginseng contains steroid-like substances such as Rg1 and Rg3, which stimulate muscle growth in test tube and animal studies. According to a study published by researchers at the Korea Food Research Institute in Molecules in the spring of 2020, supplements containing Red Ginseng contain enough Rg1, Rg3 and similar substances to be of interest to athletes.
The researchers mainly experimented with young C2C12 muscle cells, but also did experiments with mice. The animals received 800 milligrams of Red Ginseng extract daily for 4 weeks.
This amount corresponds to the recommended daily intake of a number of Red Ginseng supplements.
After the supplementation period, the researchers got the mice to run until they literally couldn't anymore. The animals given Red Ginseng performed significantly better than the mice in the other group, see bottom left.
In vitro exposure to the Red Ginseng extract increased the amount of the energy molecule ATP in the muscle cells. You can see this at the bottom right.
Above you can see what might cause this increase in molecular energy. Red Ginseng activates the signal molecule PGC-1-alpha, which makes cells produce more mitochondria. This might explain why the amount of mitochondrial DNA in the muscle cells increased.
Finally, in test tubes, Red Ginseng stimulated the formation of muscle fibers from the young muscle cells
"Collectively, our findings suggest that red ginseng extract may have utility as a functional food ingredient that promotes exercise endurance", the Koreans conclude.
Molecules. 2020 Feb 16;25(4):865.
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