To compare the anticarcinogenic effects of fresh, white, and red ginseng (Panax ginseng C A Meyer) roots and their saponins.
Lung adenoma in newborn N:GP (S) mice was induced by a subcutaneous injection of benzo(a)pyrene 0.5 mg. After weaning, ginseng powders or extracts were given in the drinking water for 6 wk. In the 9th wk the incidence and multiplicity of lung adenoma were counted.
Anticarcinogenic effects were found in 6-year-dried fresh ginseng, 5- and 6-year white ginseng, and 4-, 5-, and 6-year-red ginseng powders. Anticarcinogenic effects were also found in 6-year-dried fresh ginseng, 5- and 6-year-white ginseng, and 4-, 5-, and 6-year-red ginseng extracts. The content of major ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re, Rf, Rg1 showed a little higher tendency in fresh or white ginsengs than red ginseng. This tendency was increased as the cultivation ages were increased. But there was no relationship was found between ginsenoside contents and preparation types or cultivation ages.
Long-cultivated ginseng and red ginseng contain a higher amount of anticarcinogenic components.