Effect of Korean Red Ginseng intake on the survival duration of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 patients.
J Ginseng Res. 2017 Apr ;41(2):222-226. Epub 2017 Jan 6. PMID: 28413328
BACKGROUND: Long-term ginseng intake can increase longevity in healthy individuals. Here, we examined if long-term treatment with Panax ginseng Meyer (Korean Red Ginseng, KRG) can also enhance survival duration (SD) in patients with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 252 HIV-1 patients diagnosed from 1986 to 2013 prior to the initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Overall, 162 patients were treated with KRG (3,947 ± 4,943 g) for 86 ± 63 mo. The effects of KRG on SD were analyzed according to the KRG intake level and the length of the follow-up period.
RESULTS: There were significant correlations between the total amount of KRG and SD in the KRG intake group (r = 0.64, p < 0.0001) as well as between total amount of KRG and mean annual decrease in CD4(+) T-cell count in all 252 patients (r = -0.17, p < 0.01). The annual decrease in CD4(+) T-cell count (change in cells/μL) was significantly slower in KRG-treated patients than in patients receiving no KRG (48 ± 40 vs. 106 ± 162; p < 0.001). The SD (in months) was also significantly longer in the KRG group than in the no-KRG group (101 ± 64 vs. 59 ± 40, p < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: KRG prolongs survival in HIV-1 patients, possibly by slowing the decrease in CD4(+) T-cell count.