In vitro studies did not find various extracts of ginseng to be particularly potent antioxidants against several different free radicals (Kim et al 2002c). However, animal models have demonstrated effects in type 2 diabetes (Ryu et al 2005), particularly for the leaf, which may suppress lipid peroxidation in diabetic rats (Jung et al 2005). Ginseng extract has also been shown to protect muscle from exercise-induced oxidative stress in animal studies (Voces et al 2004).

Whether these effects are directly due to the antioxidant activity of ginseng components or secondary to other mechanisms, such as blood glucose regulation, is unclear. Additionally ginseng compounds may require in vivo conversion to active metabolites in order to exert their full effects.

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