Ginseng Blend Slows Aging in Blood Vessels by Protecting Key Cells

Greg Howard
1st March, 2024

Ginseng Blend Slows Aging in Blood Vessels by Protecting Key Cells

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a Chinese study, Ginseng-Sanqi-Chuanxiong (GSC) extract improved blood vessel health in aging mice
  • GSC enhanced the repair abilities of stem cells that rejuvenate blood vessels
  • The herbal extract reduced aging-related gene activity, suggesting a potential to slow vascular aging
Aging is a natural process that affects every part of our bodies, including our blood vessels. As we grow older, our blood vessels can become less flexible, a condition known as vascular aging, which is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other age-related health issues. Scientists have been searching for ways to combat this decline in vascular health, and a recent study from the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences[1] has shed light on a potential new treatment using a traditional Chinese medicine. The study focused on endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which are a type of stem cell found in the bone marrow that can help repair and rejuvenate blood vessels. As we age, the number and function of these EPCs tend to decline, which contributes to the deterioration of the vascular system. The researchers investigated whether a herbal extract known as Ginseng-Sanqi-Chuanxiong (GSC) could reverse these effects and delay vascular aging. The team used a mouse model that simulates human vascular aging by administering d-Galactose (D-gal), a sugar that accelerates aging in cells. They then treated these mice with GSC extract and observed the effects on their aortas, the body's main artery, and EPCs. Remarkably, the GSC extracts improved the structure of the aortas and the function of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. It also reduced oxidative stress levels, which are known to contribute to aging and vascular damage[2]. Furthermore, the GSC treatment enhanced the EPCs' ability to proliferate, migrate, adhere to damaged areas, and secrete beneficial factors that promote vascular health. These improvements were accompanied by a decrease in the expression of certain aging-related genes, namely p53, p21, and p16. These genes are known to play roles in cellular aging, and their reduced activity suggests that GSC may help to keep vascular cells younger and more functional for longer. This study builds on earlier research that has highlighted the importance of oxidative stress and epigenetic changes in vascular aging[2][3]. Oxidative stress damages cells and tissues, while epigenetic changes can alter the way genes are expressed without changing the underlying DNA sequence. The finding that GSC extract can reduce oxidative stress and influence gene expression is particularly exciting, as it suggests that the herbal remedy may be tapping into fundamental aging mechanisms. The research also complements studies on the impact of diet and lifestyle on vascular health. For instance, excessive salt intake has been shown to accelerate intestinal and vascular aging, partly through changes in the gut microbiota[4]. By identifying natural compounds that can counteract these negative effects, scientists are broadening our understanding of how to maintain vascular health through diet and other interventions. The implications of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences study are promising. By enhancing the function and longevity of EPCs, GSC extract could offer a new strategy for preventing or slowing down vascular aging. This could potentially lead to new treatments for age-related vascular diseases, offering hope for improved health and quality of life for aging populations. In conclusion, the recent findings suggest that traditional Chinese medicine may hold the key to preserving vascular health as we age. The GSC extract appears to support the repair and maintenance of blood vessels by improving the function of EPCs and reducing the expression of aging-related genes. While further research is needed to confirm these effects in humans and to understand the exact mechanisms involved, the study represents an important step forward in the fight against vascular aging and its associated diseases.

HerbsMedicineAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Ginseng-Sanqi-Chuanxiong (GSC) extracts attenuate d-galactose-induced vascular aging in mice via inhibition of endothelial progenitor cells senescence.

Published 29th February, 2024

Related Studies

2) Oxidative stress and epigenetics in ocular vascular aging: an updated review.

3) Smooth muscle mineralocorticoid receptor as an epigenetic regulator of vascular ageing.

4) Gut microbial evidence chain in high-salt diet exacerbates intestinal aging process.

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