Hey there doc, I am an independent rep with a health

Patient

Q: Hey there doc,

I am an independent rep with a health and wellness MLM company and we just launched a new sports supplement line that I am investigating and want to know as much about as possible. The proprietary blend that runs across the platform of products includes ginseng (panax) root extract. Not much, with the whole day supplement system the total intake would be around 189mg, but being that this is for work outs, I could possibly have clients (including myself because I am very active) taking the supplement line 3-5 days a week on average and the outliers 7 days. I've done some of my own research on Ginseng and it does have a lot of really awesome positive attributes for overall health and some minor positive ones for athletic performance.
I tend to really over think anything that has some negative info attached to it and on the internet for every good supplement on the market there is atleast one voice saying the opposite. I know I have to tell potential customers that Ginseng is a "tonic" and should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding but my mind is swirling (I'm OCD) with all these other rare side-effects like the "estrogenic effect" on a 12 yr old male that was documented who had started to grow sacs of fat in his pectoral region (maybe it was puberty-who knows). It was one case-study and I can't even find the article. Also importantly the dosage of 189mg a day for possible 7 days a week and if people continually work out for months at a time and don't miss taking their pre, post, and during workout supplements. Now I know from experience myself that it is almost impossible not to miss a day here and there and run out of supplements for one week before you have time to get them the next so people are probably naturally going to take breaks especially because practically nobody works out everyday, I'm just using that as a possibility. The AAFP did have a good article that said it was safe to use for long periods of time and that dosage varies around 200mg-600mg extract form and up to 2g in dried root (tea) form. If need be it wouldn't hurt to take a two-week break here and there, like with any supplement I guess, but speaking from experience as an avid physical trainer, I do everything I can to make sure I have my supplements ready to go so at most I only miss a few days here and there if I run out. I guess I am just looking for some input on the long term health with ginseng usage and if I am safe in saying to clients that it's very safe and has been tested quite extensively and used for centuries with minor side effects, with some really great uses for overall health and well being, as well as any input you may have.

Thanks,
Scott

Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.com
I understand your concern and appreciate you have put up all the details.
A lot of studies have been done recently on Ginseng, as this product has been used by various companies throughout the world promoting it as a wellness product. The various uses listed have been increased energy levels, improving stamina, improving memory, sports supplement, increased sexual power, e.t.c

As many articles as I have come across, there has never been any reported side effects. So, this definitely seems to be a safe product. The uses though, people have noticed a good change in their energy levels, although its claims on improving sexual stamina have not really been proved. As a supplement to reduce fatigue, improve performance and memory, this has indeed stood out. Some doctors attribute it to placebo and psychological improvements, however, this does seem to be effective.

Regarding the dose of 189 mg continuously, I will advise that the people who will be using your product should use it during their workout days, and try to avoid it for 7 days. Since studies have been done recently, long-term effects are still not very well known. There will never be any major side-effects, however, it is still better to be safe. And a break here and there from the supplement will also help.

Hope this was helpful,
Feel free to discuss further,
Regards.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: So main point is: It is definitely a product that offers the possibility of some really strong health outcomes. Only should be used on work-out days. Typically that is 3-5 days a week (try to avoid training 7 days straight for the most part) and having a break is not a bad idea. Good take away? Thanks!
Doctor: Hello,
Yes, it should be helpful to people consuming it.
Take it 3-5 days a week.


Regards.

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