Contraindications and Precautions
There are no clear contraindications for COLD-fX. However, because of potential harm that could result from stimulation of various immune processes, persons with autoimmune disease are advised to consult their physician before use. Potential areas of theoretical concern include use by persons with inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus, although such concerns are speculative and not based on any clinical reports. Persons with more common immune-related diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema, might also want to contact their physicians, although there is no clear or even suggestive evidence of harm. To date, there are no known reports of these conditions occurring in association with the use of COLD-fX. Because the immune system is highly complex and only partially predictable, it is possible that COLD-fX or other more conventional ginseng extracts would be beneficial rather than harmful in such conditions. For this reason, and without substantive evidence one way or the other, no blanket warnings can be supported at the time of writing of this monograph.
Although there have been no reports indicating problems in diabetics, persons with diabetes may want to use COLD-fX with caution. While some studies demonstrate the hypoglycemic actions of American ginseng root powder in both diabetic and healthy volunteers, the preparation used in these studies contained ginsenosides.1,2,3 While earlier studies found that polysaccharides extracted from either P. ginseng or P. quinquefolius had hypoglycemic actions in mice,7,28 a study using healthy adults suggests that ginsenoside, rather than polysaccharide, fractions may play a more significant hypoglycemic role, since the American ginseng root product with a depressed ginsenoside profile was found to not affect postprandial hypoglycemia.29 Hopefully, future safety studies with COLD-fX will address this issue.