Metabolite profiling of ginsenosides in rat plasma, urine and feces by LC–MS/MS and its application to a pharmacokinetic study after oral administration of Panax ginseng extract

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Nov 16, 2017
  • Author: Wei‐Wei Dong, Xiong‐Zhe Han, Jinhua Zhao, Fei‐Liang Zhong, Rui Ma, Songquan Wu, Donghao Li, Lin‐Hu Quan, Jun Jiang
  • Journal: Biomedical Chromatography


Panax ginseng is widely consumed as a functional food in the form of tea, powder, capsules, among others, and possesses a range of pharmacological activities including adaptogenic, immune‐modulatory, anti‐tumor, anti‐aging and anti‐inflammatory effects. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the major ginsenosides and their metabolites in rat plasma, urine and feces after administration of P. ginseng extract using LC–MS/MS. We collected rat plasma samples at 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24 and 48 h, and the amounts of urine and fecal samples accumulated in 24 h. Fourteen major ginsenosides and their metabolites were observed in fecal samples at high levels; however, low levels of 11 ginsenosides were detected in urine samples. The pharmacokinetics of the major ginsenosides and their metabolites was investigated in plasma. The results indicated that the maximum plasma concentration, time to maximum concentration and area under the curve of compound K were significantly greater than those of other ginsenosides. This study thus provides valuable information for drug development and clinical application of P. ginseng.

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