Aging is a diverse process which results from several biochemical and physical reactions. It induces many changes in the body e.g. memory impairment. It also affects the metabolism of body along with sodium potassium ATPase activity in brain. Aging-related diseases in the nervous system mainly include mild cognitive impairment and degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), cataract, glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease.
Ginseng is dry root of Araliaceae plant and is scientifically known as Panax. Its main component is ginsenoside. Ginsenoside is most important component extracted from the roots, stems and leaves of P. ginseng. It can improve human immunity also having anti-fatigue and anti-aging effects1.
Ginseng has widely used as a traditional medicine due to its wide pharmaceutical properties. Many studies have proved that ginseng and its component ginsenosides have promising anti-aging effects in humans1. Currently much research has been conducted on the anti-aging mechanism of ginseng and ginsenosides in nervous system but some limitations also lays there2
Ginsenoside Rg1 is the key component of ginseng with no tropic and anti-aging effects and enhances basal synaptic transmission. This component can exert anti-aging function in the brain by up-regulating mRNA expression in the normal bone marrow, promoting the release of neurotransmitter, increasing the content of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) and preventing excess nitrate production in the neurons3.
One of main characteristics of aging is decline in memory and learning. Many mechanisms underlie the learning and memory regulation, one of which is the decreased central cholinergic nerve function which can cause learning and memory disorders. Early experiments showed that Rg1 and Rb1 increased Ach content of the central nervous system, suggesting that the functions of Rg1 and Rb1 may be related to increasing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) but inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity4.
It was reviewed that Rg1 displays good anti-aging effect on the nervous system, which was reflected in the prohibition of learning and memory decompose resulted from aging. The inhibition of the apoptosis of nerve cells and promotion of the proliferation of the nerve cells was also shown by ginsenosides. Additionally, Rg1 can also oppose Alzheimer’s disease5.
“More in-depth investigation of the mechanism of the effects of Rg1 on the anti-aging function in the nervous system is needed to provide an experimental foundation for the clinical application of ginseng and saponins in the treatment of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
Modern studies have described the potential use of ginseng in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, depression and allergic asthma. Numerous herbal ingredients having ginseng have been used in the treatment of cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy. When used in combination with chemical agents, these substances reduce the amount of chemical used and side effects during treatments. Rg1 may be used as a therapeutic agent for cerebral ischemic injury. Ginseng can delay brain aging.
Written by: Rabeeia
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26 May, 2019