Ginseng extract exhibits antimutagenic activity against induced mutagenesis in various strains of Salmonella typhimurium.Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Oct; 44(10):838-41.IJ
Ginseng has been reported to exhibit antioxidant and antimutagenic activity. The present study was undertaken with a view to confirm whether the antioxidant activity of Ginseng is responsible for its antimutagenic action. The concentrated root extract of Panax ginseng (Ginseng extract I) and its lyophilized powder (Ginseng extract II) obtained from two different manufacturing houses, were tested against mutagenesis using the well-standardized Ames microsomal test system. The extracts exhibited antimutagenic effect against hydrogen peroxide induced mutagenesis in TA100 strain, and against mutagenesis produced by 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide in both TA98 and TA100 strains of Salmonella typhimurium. Both the extracts failed to show any antimutagenic potential against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (an oxidative mutagen) in TA102 strain, a strain highly sensitive to active oxygen species. The extracts also indicated a weak antioxidant activity in a series of in vitro test systems viz., 1,1-diphenyl picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) assay, hydrogen peroxide scavenging and superoxide anion scavenging. The results indicate that the protective effects shown by ginseng extract(s) against 4-nitroquinoline-n-oxide and hydrogen peroxide induced mutagenesis in TA98 and TA100 could mainly be due to its property to initiate and promote DNA repair rather than free radical scavenging action.