Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fatigue is one of the most common effects of cancer and cancer treatment.

Now, cancer-related fatigue appears to have an enemy. A Mayo Clinic study found that high doses of the herb ginseng was effective in reducing cancer-related fatigue over two months when compared with a placebo.

Mayo Researchers evaluated 340 patients who had either completed cancer treatment or were undergoing treatment at one of 40 community medical centers. Study participants would receive a daily dosage of a placebo or 2,000 milligrams of ginseng administered in capsules containing pure, ground American ginseng root.

That is markedly different from off-the-shelf ginseng, which sometimes is processed with ethanol, giving it characteristics similar to estrogen. That is harmful for breast cancer patients, warned researcher Debra Barton of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, in a Mayo news release.

Ginseng’s effect on fatigue showed marked improvement over time from a slight improvement at four weeks to significant improvement at eight weeks.

“After eight weeks, we saw a 20-point improvement in fatigue in cancer patients, measured on a 100-point, standardized fatigue scale,” Barton said.

Barton and other researchers could find no apparent side effects from the herb.

Aside from reducing fatigue, American ginseng also appears to have other cancer-fighting abilities. According to a 2010 lab study, American ginseng extract led cultures of colorectal cancer cells to die, implying that the herb may have an anticancer properties.


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