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Ginseng has no effect on mood in healthy young adults

An eight-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association concluded that Panax ginseng confers no psychological benefits in young, healthy adults. The participants were 83 men and women who were randomly assigned to take one of three different treatments: placebo, 200 mg ginseng, or 400 mg ginseng per day for 60 days. Results showed that treatment with ginseng had no effect on any of the three psychological variables assessed. Lead author Brad Cardinal of Oregon State University commented that the youth and good health of the study participants was one of the primary weaknesses of the study. The researchers concluded, "The present findings do not support claims that chronic ginseng supplementation-at either its clinically recommended level or twice that level-enhances affect or mood in healthy young adults." Cardinal BJ, Engels HJ. Ginseng does not enhance psychological well-being in healthy, young adults: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2001; 101(6): 655-660.

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