Interesting study, looks like ginseng is a true nootropic.
We investigated the effects of lifetime cumulative ginseng intake on cognitive function in a community-dwelling population-based prospective cohort of Korean elders.
Community-dwelling elders (N = 6422; mean age = 70.2 ± 6.9 years, education = 8.0 ± 5.3 years, female = 56.8%) from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Aging and Dementia were included. Among them, 3918 participants (61.0%) completed the 2-year and 4-year follow-up evaluations. Subjects were categorized according to cumulative ginseng intake at baseline evaluation; no use group, low use (< 5 years) group, and high use (≥ 5 years) group. One-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to compare the impact of cumulative ginseng intake on baseline Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Packet neuropsychological battery total score (CERAD total score) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score among the three groups while adjusting for potential covariates. A repeated-measures ANCOVA was performed to investigate the impacts on the changes in CERAD total scores and MMSE scores during the 4 years of follow-up.
The high use group showed higher CERAD total scores compared to the no use group after controlling for age, sex, education years, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol intake, presence of hypertension, stroke history, Geriatric Depression Scale, Cumulative Illness Rating Scale, and presence of the APOE e4 allele (F(2, 4762) = 3.978, p = 0.019). The changes of CERAD total score for 2 or 4 years of follow-up did not differ according to the use of ginseng.
Cumulative ginseng use for longer than 5 years may be beneficial to cognitive function in late life.