Panax ginseng (P. ginseng) is the most widely consumed herbal plant in Asia and is well-known for its various pharmacological properties. Many studies have been devoted to this natural product. However, polysaccharide's components of ginseng and their biological effects have not been widely studied. In this study, white ginseng neutral polysaccharide (WGNP) and white ginseng acidic polysaccharide (WGAP) fractions were purified from P. ginseng roots. The chemical properties of WGNP and WGAP were investigated using various chromatography and spectroscopy techniques, including high-performance gel permeation chromatography, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography with an ultra-violet detector. The antioxidant, anti-radical, and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activities were evaluated in vitro and in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans as the model organism. Our in vitro data by ABTS (2,2′-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), reducing power, ferrous ion chelating, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity suggested that the WGAP with significantly higher uronic acid content and higher molecular weight exhibits a much stronger antioxidant effect as compared to that of WGNP. Similar antioxidant activity of WGAP was also confirmed in vivo by evaluating internal reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration and lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, WGAP may be used as a natural antioxidant with potent scavenging and metal chelation properties.
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