DOI: 10.3390/cimb46030148 ISSN: 1467-3045

Bioconversion, Pharmacokinetics, and Therapeutic Mechanisms of Ginsenoside Compound K and Its Analogues for Treating Metabolic Diseases

Md. Niaj Morshed, Reshmi Akter, Md. Rezaul Karim, Safia Iqbal, Se Chan Kang, Deok Chun Yang
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Microbiology

Rare ginsenoside compound K (CK) is an intestinal microbial metabolite with a low natural abundance that is primarily produced by physicochemical processing, side chain modification, or metabolic transformation in the gut. Moreover, CK exhibits potent biological activity compared to primary ginsenosides, which has raised concerns in the field of ginseng research and development, as well as ginsenoside-related dietary supplements and natural products. Ginsenosides Rb1, Rb2, and Rc are generally used as a substrate to generate CK via several bioconversion processes. Current research shows that CK has a wide range of pharmacological actions, including boosting osteogenesis, lipid and glucose metabolism, lipid oxidation, insulin resistance, and anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptosis properties. Further research on the bioavailability and toxicology of CK can advance its medicinal application. The purpose of this review is to lay the groundwork for future clinical studies and the development of CK as a therapy for metabolic disorders. Furthermore, the toxicology and pharmacology of CK are investigated as well in this review. The findings indicate that CK primarily modulates signaling pathways associated with AMPK, SIRT1, PPARs, WNTs, and NF-kB. It also demonstrates a positive therapeutic effect of CK on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and its complications, as well as osteoporosis. Additionally, the analogues of CK showed more bioavailability, less toxicity, and more efficacy against disease states. Enhancing bioavailability and regulating hazardous variables are crucial for its use in clinical trials.

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