Bioavailability of fermented Korean red ginseng

Hyun Jung Lee, Eun Young Jung, Hyun Sun Lee, Bong Gwan Kim, Jeong Hoon Kim, Taek Joon Yoon, Sung Hoon Oh, Hyung Joo Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In an effort to improve ginsenoside bioavailability, the ginsenosides of fermented red ginseng were examined with respect to bioavailability and physiological activity. The results showed that the fermented red ginseng (FRG) had a high level of ginsenoside metabolites. The total ginsenoside contents in non-fermented red ginseng (NFRG) and FRG were 35715.2 μg/mL and 34822.9 μg/mL, respectively. However, RFG had a higher content (14914.3 μg/mL) of ginsenoside metabolites (Rg3, Rg5, Rk1, CK, Rh1, F2, and Rg2) compared to NFRG (5697.9 μg/mL). The skin permeability of RFG was higher than that of NFRG using Franz diffusion cells. Particularly, after 5 hr, the skin permeability of RFG was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that of NFRG. Using everted instestinal sacs of rats, RFG showed a high transport level (10.3 mg of polyphenols/g sac) compared to NFRG (6.67 of mg of polyphenols/g sac) after 1 hr. After oral administration of NFRG and FRG to rats, serum concentrations were determined by HPLC. Peak concentrations of Rk1, Rh1, Rc, and Rg5 were approximately 1.64, 2.35, 1.13, and 1.25-fold higher, respectively, for FRG than for NFRG. Furthermore, Rk1, Rh1, and Rg5 increased more rapidly in the blood by the oral administration of FRG versus NFRG. FRG had dramatically improved bioavailability compared to NFRG as indicated by skin permeation, intestinal permeability, and ginsenoside levels in the blood. The significantly greater bioavailability of FRG may have been due to the transformation of its ginsenosides by fermentation to more easily absorbable forms (ginsenoside metabolites).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Bioavailability
  • Everted intestinal sac
  • Fermented red ginseng
  • Franz cell
  • Ginsenoside metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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