Alcoholic fatty liver (AFL) is the most common liver disease among Korean men, and Korean red ginseng has been used as a folk medicine to diverse diseases in Korea. Therefore, we examined if Korean red ginseng extract (KRG) could be a suppressive agent on AFL in a rat model or not. Experimental rats were fed the Lieber DeCarli diet with 36% of energy intake from ethanol, and divided into three groups which daily co-administered KRG 0, 700 and 1400 mg/kg for six weeks, respectively. Naive rats were fed iso-caloric control diet without ethanol and KRG. We investigated histopathological hepatic characteristics, hepatic and plasma lipid concentrations, hepatic hydroxyproline contents, heart/liver radioactivity ratio of 201Thallium and liver/body weight of the rats at the end point. Ethanol intake brought about steatotic, inflammatory, necrotic and fibrotic changes of livers significantly, and it also lead the rats to increase hepatic triglyceride and hydroxyproline contents, plasma total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and liver/body weight. However, co-administration of KRG 1400 mg/kg suppressed fat accumulation and fibrotic initiation in AFL rat model significantly. It was also inclined to attenuate inflammatory cell infiltration, hydroxyproline accumulation, and increasing liver/body weight, even though plasma lipid levels and heart/liver ratios were not successfully improved by six-week-long intakes of KRG. In conclusions, co-administration of KRG 1400 mg/kg could significantly suppress steatosis in AFL rat model, and it might need longer ingestion of KRG than six weeks to improve plasma lipid imbalance.
2011 by The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan