Abstract ☜ link
It is well recognized that gut microbiota is involved in the biotransformation of ginsenosides by converting the polar ginsenosides to nonpolar bioactive ginsenosides. However, the roles of the gut microbiota on the pharmacokinetics of ginsenosides in humans have not yet been fully elucidated.
Red ginseng (RG) or fermented red ginseng was orally administered to 34 healthy Korean volunteers, and the serum concentrations of the ginsenosides were determined using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, the fecal ginsenoside Rd– and compound K (CK)–forming activities were measured. Then, the correlations between the pharmacokinetic profiles of the ginsenosides and the fecal ginsenoside–metabolizing activities were investigated.
For the RG group, the area under the serum concentration–time curve values of ginsenosides Rd, F2, Rg3, and CK were 8.20 ± 11.95 ng·h/mL, 4.54 ± 3.70 ng·h/mL, 36.40 ± 19.68 ng·h/mL, and 40.30 ± 29.83 ng·h/mL, respectively. For the fermented red ginseng group, the the area under curve from zero to infinity (AUC∞) values of ginsenosides Rd, F2, Rg3, and CK were 187.90 ± 95.87 ng·h/mL, 30.24 ± 41.87 ng·h/mL, 28.68 ± 14.27 ng·h/mL, and 137.01 ± 96.16 ng·h/mL, respectively. The fecal CK-forming activities of the healthy volunteers were generally proportional to their ginsenoside Rd–forming activities. The area under the serum concentration–time curve value of CK exhibited an obvious positive correlation (r = 0.566, p < 0.01) with the fecal CK-forming activity.