Another ingredient in Metabolife is Ginseng root, "a traditional
oriental medicine" with many different components (Mogil et al, 1998).
The actual purpose of the Ginseng in the herbal supplement is unspecified;
Ginseng is most commonly known for it's energy-reviving attributes, however.
Additionally, many assertions suggest that ginseng could play a role in
treatment of motion sickness. More studies have been done to this
second effect than to the first.
Mogil and associates determined that low to moderate doses of Ginseng
extract lead to hypothermia, and antagonism of pharmacological actions
of morphine. This was a conclusion of a study of ginseng and pain in rats
(1998). Another study by Phillips, Hutchinson, and Ruggier published in
Anaesthesia examined the affect of ginger on the gastric emptying rate.
The results of this study indicated that not only did ginger have no apparent
affect upon the gastric emptying rate, but "no [other] adverse affects
[to ginseng] were noted" either (1998). Therefore, ginseng may not pose
an immediate threat to consumers, but nor is their any certainty as to
the role it plays in the Metabolife substance. However, the abstract of
Yuan, Wu, Lowell, and Gu's study on the "gut and brain effects of
American ginseng root on brainstem neuronal activities in rats" suggested
after [aqueous extracts of American ginseng root] application
to the gastric or brainstem compartment, a concentration- related inhibition
in neuronal discharge frequency in the brainstem unitary activity was observed,
suggesting that [ginseng] may play an important role in regulating the
digestive process and modulating brain function. (1998)
This is perhaps that only current explanation derived from the information
obtained. All other studies tended to focus on motion sickness and whether
or not ginseng was a valid treatment for motion sickness.
Part I Part
II Part III