Siberian ginseng extracts have been reported to provide better usage of glycogen and high-energy phosphorus compounds and improve the metabolism of lactic and pyruvic acids (Farnsworth et al 1985). Additionally, preliminary evidence of possible anabolic effects makes this herb a popular treatment among athletes in the belief that endurance, performance and power may improve with its use.

While initial animal studies showed promise, recent randomised, controlled clinical trials have produced inconsistent results in healthy individuals and athletes (Eschbach et al 2000, Dowling et al 1996, Mahady et al 2000) and a recent review concluded that only poorer quality trials have demonstrated benefit while well-designed trials have not shown significant improvement in endurance performance, cardiorespiratory fitness, or fat metabolism during exercise ranging in duration from 6 to 120 minutes (Goulet & Dionne 2005).

In the mid 1980s, a Japanese controlled study conducted over 8 days showed that Siberian ginseng extract (2 ml_ twice daily) improved work capacity compared with placebo (23.3% vs 7.5%) in male athletes, owing to increased oxygen metabolism (Asano et al 1986). Increased stamina was also seen.

More recently, a randomised, double-blind crossover trial using a lower dose of 1200 mg/day Siberian ginseng for 7 days reported that treatment did not alter steady-state substrate use or 10 km cycling performance time (Eschbach et al 2000). Additionally, an 8-week, double-blind placebo-controlled study involving 20 experienced distance runners failed to detect significant changes to heart rate, oxygen consumption, expired minutevolume, respiratory exchange ratio, perceived exertion or serum lactate levels compared with placebo. Overall, both submaximal and maximal exercise performance was unchanged (Dowling et al 1996).

Clinical studies investigating whether anabolic effects observed in experimental studies occur in humans are lacking.

Your Metabolism - What You Need To Know

Your Metabolism - What You Need To Know

If you have heard about metabolism, chances are it is in relation to weight loss. Metabolism is bigger than weight loss, though, as you will learn later on. It is about a healthier, better you. If you want to fire up your metabolism and do not have any idea how to do it, you have come to the right place. If you have tried to speed up your metabolism before but do not see visible results, you have also come to the right place.

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