A recent editorial in Nanomedicine (“Ginseng nanoparticles: a budding tool for cancer treatment”) by scientists in Korea states that use of ginsenoside nanoconjugates could be a promising candidate against cancer and various other diseases, such as inflammation, osteoporosis and obesity in the future.
Researchers have found that nanoparticles of ginsenoside by various nanocarriers, such as, polymers, proteins, micelles and liposomes result in an increased water solubility and anticancer activity.
In addition, the cytotoxicity of the conjugates is often similar or superior compared with bare ginsenosides in cancer cells with relatively low cytotoxicity in normal cells.
Ginseng has been considered one of the highly valued medicinal plants in traditional Chinese medicine for more than thousands of years.
Ginseng phytochemicals, such as, ginsenoside (unique triterpenoid saponins), phenols and acidic polysaccharides have been known to exhibit numerous pharmacological efficacies including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antiaging, enhanced immunization and liver functions and protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease. Their administration often results in adaptogenic effects.
Regular intake of ginseng products has been demonstrated to prevent the occurrence of various cancers, ameliorate cancer-related fatigue and enhance life span.
Among ginseng phytochemicals, ginsenosides have been thoroughly researched and scrutinized over the years to flaunt various pharmacological activities.
As the scientists point out, though, there are considerable limitation sto these benefits: After oral administration, crude and major ginsenosides are mainly converted into minor ginsenosides due to hydrolysis of glucose molecules by intestinal microbiota.
Biomolecular conjugations of ginsenosides and drug delivery techniques play significant roles to solve these problematic issues.
Most reported nanodrug delivery carriers, such as, polymer–drug conjugates, nanoparticles, liposomes and metal nanoparticles are designed to increase solubility, improve lipid membrane penetration, enhance anticancer efficacy, ameliorate sustainability in gastrointestinal environment and reduce or eliminate loss during oral administration.
Polymer–ginsenoside nanoconjugates have been recently studied as a potential drug carrier to tumor sites owing to the improved solubility and efficient drug-release mechanisms.
The enhanced oral bioavailability, oncogene MDM2 targeting and anticancer activities were reported in both in vitro and in vivo of PEG-PLGA loaded 25–OCH3–PPD nanoparticles than nonloaded drug.
The phytochemicals in plant extracts have a direct relationship in the efficacy of tailor-made nanoparticles used as drug delivery and as therapeutic agents.
The phytochemicals in ginseng provide binary functions in the nanoparticle synthesis as competent reducing agents to convert macrosized salts into nanosized metal nanoparticles as well as stabilizers to cater a potent coating on the metal nanoparticles.
Source: Future Medicine