Beneficial effects of a combination of Korean red ginseng and highly active antiretroviral therapy in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients.
Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2009 Aug;16(8):1127-31. Epub 2009 Jun 17. PMID: 19535541
Department of Microbiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Songpa-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
To determine whether Korean red ginseng (KRG) has beneficial effects on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected patients administered highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), we analyzed the CD4 T-cell count, viral load, and resistance mutations to HAART in 46 individuals. Thirteen patients harbored resistance mutations at baseline. The study population was divided into two groups: specifically, a group treated with a combination of HAART plus KRG (23 patients) and a group treated with HAART alone (23 patients). The annual increase in CD4 T-cell count in the combination group was significantly higher than that in the group treated with HAART alone (P<0.05). Overall, 21 patients harbored resistance mutations after 3 years of therapy. Following exclusion of 13 patients displaying baseline resistance mutations, 7.1% of patients (1/14) in the combination group and 42.1% (8/19) in the HAART group were identified with resistance mutations. One patient with baseline resistance mutations in the combination group did not display resistance mutations 3 years after HAART therapy. High-level resistance mutations were significantly lower in the combination group than in the group treated with HAART alone. Five patients showed no improvement in viral copy number (26.3% [5/19]) in the combination group and 9 (45.0% [9/20]) showed no improvement in the HAART-only group. Our data support the clinical utility of KRG intake during HAART therapy.