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1.  The Modifying Effects of Galactomannan from Canadian-Grown Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) on the Glycemic and Lipidemic Status in Rats 
Using high sucrose-fed male Sprague-Dawley rats, a study was conducted to determine the effects of feeding Galactomannan (GAL), a soluble dietary fiber extracted from Canadian-grown fenugreek seeds, on blood lipid and glucose responses. Rats (n = 8, 175–200 g) were randomly assigned to one of three high sucrose diets containing 10% cellulose (control), 7.5% cellulose + 2.5% GAL, and 5% cellulose + 5% GAL, respectively for 4 weeks. After 3 weeks, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed on each rat. A week later blood samples were collected to determine the effect on blood lipids. A significant reduction in glycemic response was observed only in 5% GAL group at 120 min following OGTT, when compared with that of control and 2.5% GAL groups. The plasma level of insulin was also significantly reduced (p<0.001) in 5% GAL-fed rats but at all times during OGTT. These animals also showed a reduction in body weight gain (p<0.05) in parallel with less food intake (p<0.05). All GAL-fed (2.5% and 5.0%) rats had significantly reduced plasma levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in association with a reduction in epididymal adipose weight. Overall, this study demonstrated that feeding GAL from Canadian-grown fenugreek seeds has the potential to alter glycemic and lipidemic status and reduce abdominal fat in normal rats.
PMCID: PMC2581758  PMID: 19015751
Canadian fenugreek seed; galactomannan; glycemic status; lipidemic status; epididymal tissue
2.  Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial 
Upper respiratory tract infections are a major source of morbidity throughout the world. Extracts of the root of North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) have been found to have the potential to modulate both natural and acquired immune responses. We sought to examine the efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng root in preventing colds.
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at the onset of the influenza season. A total of 323 subjects 18–65 years of age with a history of at least 2 colds in the previous year were recruited from the general population in Edmonton, Alberta. The participants were instructed to take 2 capsules per day of either the North American ginseng extract or a placebo for a period of 4 months. The primary outcome measure was the number of Jackson-verified colds. Secondary variables measured included symptom severity, total number of days of symptoms and duration of all colds. Cold symptoms were scored by subjects using a 4-point scale.
Subjects who did not start treatment were excluded from the analysis (23 in the ginseng group and 21 in the placebo group), leaving 130 in the ginseng group and 149 in the placebo group. The mean number of colds per person was lower in the ginseng group than in the placebo group (0.68 [standard deviation (SD) 0.82] v. 0.93 [SD 0.91], difference 0.25%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04–0.45). The proportion of subjects with 2 or more Jackson-verified colds during the 4-month period (10.0% v. 22.8%, 12.8% difference, 95% CI 4.3–21.3) was significantly lower in the ginseng group than in the placebo group, as were the total symptom score (77.5 [SD 84.6] v. 112.3 [SD 102.5], difference 1.5%, 95% CI 1.2–2.0) and the total number of days cold symptoms were reported (10.8 [SD 9.7] v. 16.5 [SD 13.8] days, difference 1.6%, 95% CI 1.3–2.0) for all colds.
Ingestion of a poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharide–rich extract of the roots of North American ginseng in a moderate dose over 4 months reduced the mean number of colds per person, the proportion of subjects who experienced 2 or more colds, the severity of symptoms and the number of days cold symptoms were reported.
PMCID: PMC1266327  PMID: 16247099

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