How Black Ginseng Fights Prostate Cancer Revealed by Science

Greg Howard
19th January, 2024

How Black Ginseng Fights Prostate Cancer Revealed by Science

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

An investigation into black ginseng, a variety of ginseng that has undergone extensive processing, has provided insights into its potential in treating prostate cancer. The processing called "nine steaming and nine sun-drying" transforms fresh ginseng into black ginseng, which has a unique composition of chemical substances. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), researchers identified various compounds within black ginseng samples. These included six types of small organic acids, maltol, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), 17 different ginsenosides, four oligosaccharides, and 20 amino acids. These compounds are all small molecules that interact in complex ways within the body. To determine which of these compounds change during the process of creating black ginseng, a statistical method was used. This analysis helped identify which substances increased or decreased in concentration at every stage of the processing cycle. These changes could contribute to the medicinal properties of black ginseng. The researchers took these results a step further by using network pharmacological methods. Network pharmacology examines how different compounds can affect biological pathways in our body. It helps scientists understand how a traditional remedy like black ginseng might work at the molecular level. Using this approach, the team uncovered the main targets within the body that the components of black ginseng could affect to combat prostate cancer. To hone in on the most critical factors, the entropy weight method was applied, ranking the importance of the various compounds, targets, and pathways associated with black ginseng's anti-cancer effects. Next, a new approach called vector space network pharmacology was established. This method allows for a more refined analysis of how exactly black ginseng influences the body to potentially fend off prostate cancer. Particularly interesting are the findings from two types of statistical analyses used, principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). These advanced statistical tools helped pinpoint the most significant changes in black ginseng's composition that occur with each cycle of steaming and sun-drying. Compounds such as fructose, glucose, dencichin, glutamate, and various specific ginsenosides appeared to be key players in black ginseng's development through the cycles. The study revealed that the anti-prostate cancer properties of black ginseng are likely influenced by its ability to impact the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, a critical pathway in cell survival, growth, and proliferation. Additionally, black ginseng seems to affect a pathway involved in the activation of chemical carcinogenesis receptors. Essentially, these pathways are related to how cells communicate to grow and how the body responds to cancer-causing substances. The outcomes of this research offer a fresh perspective for scientists interested in natural remedies and their preparation methods. Black ginseng, with its complex mix of components, evolves through traditional processing techniques that not only change its composition but may also enhance its therapeutic effects. From the study conducted by researchers at the Liaoning University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, we gain valuable knowledge about black ginseng's potential in prostate cancer treatment. It opens up avenues for further exploration of traditional Chinese medicine and how it may be utilized in modern-day therapeutic applications.



Main Study

1) Anti-prostate cancer mechanism of black ginseng during the "nine steaming and nine sun-drying" process based on HPLC analysis combined with vector space network pharmacology.

Published 18th January, 2024

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