Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Chinese Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research

Biotransformation of ginsenosides Rb1, Rg3 and Rh2 in rat gastrointestinal tracts

Tianxiu Qian12 and Zongwei Cai1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China

2 Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Chinese Medicine 2010, 5:19  doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-19

Published: 26 May 2010

Abstract

Background

Ginsenosides such as Rb1, Rg3 and Rh2 are major bioactive components of Panax ginseng. This in vivo study investigates the metabolic pathways of ginsenosides Rb1, Rg3 and Rh2 orally administered to rats.

Methods

High performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) techniques, particularly liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS), were used to identify the metabolites.

Results

Six metabolites of Rb1, six metabolites of Rg3 and three metabolites of Rh2 were detected in the feces samples of the rats. Rh2 was a metabolite of Rb1 and Rg3, whereas Rg3 was a metabolite of Rb1. Some metabolites such as protopanaxadiol and monooxygenated protopanaxadiol are metabolites of all three ginsenosides.

Conclusion

Oxygenation and deglycosylation are two major metabolic pathways of the ginsenosides in rat gastrointestinal tracts.