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Effects of Korean Red Ginseng on Semen Parameters in Male Infertility Patients: a Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Clinical Study

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02204826
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 30, 2014
Last Update Posted : August 29, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Hyun Jun Park, Pusan National University Hospital

Brief Summary:

Korean Red ginseng (KRG) has long been applied to various diseases as a health-promoting herbal medicine in Korea. Many clinical studies of ginseng have been performed to elucidate its therapeutic characteristics. KRG has been shown to be effective in many diseases, such as cancers, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and sexual dysfunction. Several studies have indicated effects of ginseng on improving spermatogenesis in animals. The major mechanisms behind these effects were speculated to be anti-oxidant and anti-aging effects, as well as modulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-testis axis [7 - 10]. However, there have been no controlled human clinical trials to evaluate the effects of KRG on spermatogenesis in patients with male infertility.

Only a small proportion of causes of male infertility are currently curable, including male hypogonadal disorders that can be cured by gonadotropic agents, and obstructive azoospermia that can be corrected by surgery. In addition, evidence-based medicine has revealed that most empirical treatments are ineffective. Similarly, the efficacies of carnitine, anti-estrogens, kallikrein, vitamins C and E, and glutathione have not been confirmed.

Therefore, the investigators investigated the effects of KRG on semen parameters in male infertility patients. This is the first placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the therapeutic effects of KRG in male patients.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Male Infertility Drug: Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) Procedure: Varicocelectomy Phase 4

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Korean Red Ginseng on Semen Parameters in Male Infertility Patients: a Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Clinical Study
Study Start Date : April 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2012
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2013


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: V + KRG group (n = 20)
three capsules of KRG (500 mg/dose) daily and varicocelectomy.
Drug: Korean Red Ginseng (KRG)

The KRG capsules were provided by Korean Ginseng Corporation (Daejeon, Korea). KRG powder was manufactured from roots of a 6-year-old red ginseng, Panax ginseng Meyer, harvested in Republic of Korea. KRG was made by steaming fresh ginseng at 90-100 ◦C for 3 h and then drying at 50-80 ◦C.

KRG powder prepared from grinded red ginseng (KRG capsule : 500mg/capsule). KRG was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. KRG extract contained major ginsenoside-Rb1: 4.26mg/g, -Rb2: 1.62mg/g, -Rc: 1.80mg/g, -Rd: 0.29mg/g, -Re: 1.71mg/g, -Rf: 0.67mg/g, -Rg1: 2.61mg/g, -Rg2: 0.20mg/g, -Rg3: 0.13mg/g, and other minor ginsenosides. During the study period, three capsules were taken daily for 12 weeks.


Procedure: Varicocelectomy
Surgical microscope-assisted varicocelectomy using the subinguinal approach was conducted by a single surgeon.

Active Comparator: non-V + KRG group
three capsules of KRG (500 mg/dose) daily
Drug: Korean Red Ginseng (KRG)

The KRG capsules were provided by Korean Ginseng Corporation (Daejeon, Korea). KRG powder was manufactured from roots of a 6-year-old red ginseng, Panax ginseng Meyer, harvested in Republic of Korea. KRG was made by steaming fresh ginseng at 90-100 ◦C for 3 h and then drying at 50-80 ◦C.

KRG powder prepared from grinded red ginseng (KRG capsule : 500mg/capsule). KRG was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. KRG extract contained major ginsenoside-Rb1: 4.26mg/g, -Rb2: 1.62mg/g, -Rc: 1.80mg/g, -Rd: 0.29mg/g, -Re: 1.71mg/g, -Rf: 0.67mg/g, -Rg1: 2.61mg/g, -Rg2: 0.20mg/g, -Rg3: 0.13mg/g, and other minor ginsenosides. During the study period, three capsules were taken daily for 12 weeks.


Active Comparator: V + P group (n = 20)
placebo capsules and varicocelectomy
Procedure: Varicocelectomy
Surgical microscope-assisted varicocelectomy using the subinguinal approach was conducted by a single surgeon.

Placebo Comparator: non-V + P group
non-V + P group (n = 20) placebo capsules
Drug: Korean Red Ginseng (KRG)

The KRG capsules were provided by Korean Ginseng Corporation (Daejeon, Korea). KRG powder was manufactured from roots of a 6-year-old red ginseng, Panax ginseng Meyer, harvested in Republic of Korea. KRG was made by steaming fresh ginseng at 90-100 ◦C for 3 h and then drying at 50-80 ◦C.

KRG powder prepared from grinded red ginseng (KRG capsule : 500mg/capsule). KRG was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. KRG extract contained major ginsenoside-Rb1: 4.26mg/g, -Rb2: 1.62mg/g, -Rc: 1.80mg/g, -Rd: 0.29mg/g, -Re: 1.71mg/g, -Rf: 0.67mg/g, -Rg1: 2.61mg/g, -Rg2: 0.20mg/g, -Rg3: 0.13mg/g, and other minor ginsenosides. During the study period, three capsules were taken daily for 12 weeks.





Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Semen parmaters change from baseline to post-treatment [ Time Frame: Before treatment, After 14 weeks (12 week treatment and 2 week wash out periond) ]
    1) sperm concentration, 2) percent motility, 3) sperm viability, and 4) Kruger/strict morphology using World Health Organization (WHO) methodologies (4th edition).


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Changes in hormonal parameters after treatment [ Time Frame: Before treatment, After 14 weeks (12 week treatment and 2 week wash out periond) ]
    Serum concentrations of FSH and LH were measured using chemiluminescence assays, and serum total testosterone was quantified by radioimmunoassay. The hormonal status of all patients was recorded at the initial screening visit and post-treatment.



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Ages Eligible for Study:   25 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients should be males, 25 - 45 years of age, who had complained of infertility for at least 12 months, and had no history of surgical or medical treatments for infertility.
  • Increased retrograde flow in the internal spermatic vein with venous diameter > 3 mm during the Valsalva maneuver on scrotal ultrasonography was used as an indicator of varicocele [13].
  • Varicocele was graded according to the criteria presented by Lyon et al. [14]: *Grade I, palpable only with the Valsalva maneuver

    • Grade II, palpable without the Valsalva maneuver
    • Grade III, visible from a distance.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • A history of vasectomy or obstructive azoospermia
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Hypogonadism or pituitary abnormalities
  • Anatomical abnormality of the genitals
  • Significant hepatopathy (liver enzymes elevated 2 - 3-fold higher than the normal range)
  • Renal insufficiency (serum creatinine level > 2.5 mg/dL)
  • Medical treatment for infertility during the past 4 weeks.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02204826


Locations
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Korea, Republic of
Department of Urology, Pusan National University Hospital
Busan, Korea, Republic of, 602-739
Sponsors and Collaborators
Pusan National University Hospital
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Hyun Jun Park, PhD, MD Department of Urology, Pusan National University Hospital

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Responsible Party: Hyun Jun Park, Professor, Pusan National University Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02204826    
Other Study ID Numbers: KRG-infertility
First Posted: July 30, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 29, 2018
Last Verified: August 2018
Keywords provided by Hyun Jun Park, Pusan National University Hospital:
Effects of Korean Red Ginseng on semen parameters in male infertility patients: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical study
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Infertility
Infertility, Male
Genital Diseases, Male
Genital Diseases, Female