Pharmacogenetics in Potential Herb–Drug Interactions: Effects of Ginseng on CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 Allelic Variants

  • Alice Luu
  • Brian C. Foster
  • Kristina L. McIntyre
  • Teresa W. Tam
  • John T. Arnason
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 41)


This chapter focuses on the role of ginseng in potential herb–drug interactions through inhibition of cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP3A4 and three polymorphisms of CYP2C9. Using commercial ginseng products and preparations made from authentic ginseng roots, CYP3A4 but not CYP2C9 inhibition correlated significantly with total ginsenoside content of the ginseng products tested. The inhibition of CYP2C9 was low for the three allelic forms and the profile of inhibition by product did not vary with the three polymorphisms tested. These in vitro results suggest that CYP3A4 inhibition, but not CYP2C9 inhibition, may warrant further study in a clinical setting.


Drug Interaction Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Ginseng Root CYP2C9 Gene Natural Health Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Extraction and HPLC-DAD methods were kindly validated and provided by Paula Brown (NHP Research Group, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby, Canada). This project was funded by the Ontario Ginseng Innovation and Research Centre (OGIRC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Luu
    • 1
  • Brian C. Foster
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kristina L. McIntyre
    • 4
  • Teresa W. Tam
    • 2
  • John T. Arnason
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Therapeutic Products Directorate, Health CanadaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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