Ginseng shows benefits in cancer treatment

Flaxseed slowed the growth of prostate tumors in men, while ginseng helped relieve the fatigue that cancer patients often feel, US researchers reported on Saturday in two of the first scientifically rigorous looks at alternative medicine.

The studies reflect doctor’s efforts to explore the risks and benefits of foods and supplements that are routinely taken by their patients with little scientific proof they help. Americans spend between $ 36 billion and $ 46 billion  year on complementary and alternative therapies, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “Patients are taking these compounds but we need to know if they are doing any good or any harm, ”said Dr. Bruce Cheson of Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, who led a panel on alternative therapies at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

In the flaxseed study, researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and colleagues evaluated the seed’s role as a food supplement in 161 men who were scheduled to undergo surgery for prostate cancer. “The growth rate was decreased in the men who got flaxseed,” said Dr. Nancy Davidson, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who is president-elect of ASCO. “I think this is fascinating.” Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and lignins, a fiber found on the seed coat. “We were looking at flaxseed because of its unique nutrient profile, ”  said Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, a researcher in Duke’s School of Nursing, who led the study.

Half of the men in the study added 30 grams of flaxseed daily to their diets for about 30 days. Half of the flaxseed group also went on a low-fat diet. After the surgery, the cancer cells in both the flaxseed groups grew about 30 to 40 percent slower than the control group.

But Demark-Wahnefried is not ready to prescribe flaxseed. “It’s a healthy food. It has a lot of vitamins and a lot of fiber. But we can not definitely say at this point you should take flaxseed because it is protective against prostate cancer,” she said, adding that flaxseed now needed to be studied to see if it can prevent prostate cancer.

In the ginseng trial, Debra Barton of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues tested three different does of the herb on patients with a variety of cancers who were expected to live at least six months. Twenty-five percent of patients taking a 1,000-mg dose and twenty-seven percent of patients taking a 2,000-mg does said their fatigue symptoms were “moderately better”or “much better”. Only 10 percent of those taking a 750-mg dose reported an improvement, which was about the same as the placebo group. Patients on the trial took Wisconsin ginseng from a single crop that was tested for uniform potency. It was powered and given in a capsule form. “I wouldn’t have predicted this, I have to admit, ”  Davidson said in an interview. “We might want to test this in a large scale.”

The flaxseed study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the ginseng study was supported by US Public Health Service grants.


1. Paragraph 2 ___.
2. Paragraph 4 ___.
3. Paragraph 5 ___.
4. Paragraph 6 ___.

A. the motivation of flaxseed study
B. the study on ginseng displays its good promise
C. the doctors’ responsibilities led them to carry out these two studies
D. ginseng is as good to cancer patients as flaxseed
E. the methods and results of the study on flaxseed
F. a different opinion on the use of flaxseed

5. Doctors in the US wanted to know ___.
6. Both studies on flaxseed and ginseng show ___.
7. It is the unique nutrient profile of flaxseed ___.
8. In the ginseng trial the researchers tested the potency of ginseng ___.

A.that led the researchers in Duke’s School of Nursing to study it
B.by giving different dose of the herb to patients with different cancers
C.whether the foods and supplements patients took every day were good or not
D.though both flaxseed and ginseng are all healthy alternative medicines
E.that either of them is beneficial to cancer patients
F.because we still have to see if flaxseed can prevent prostate cancer

环球网校2009年职称英语等级考试网络辅导招生简章

孙教员职称英语基础班开讲,学员反响热烈!

2008年全国及各地职称外语等级考试合格规范 

2002--2008年职称英语等级考试真题试卷及答案汇总 

职称英语温习资料卫生类AB级概括大意精选(1)



环球网校2008年职称英语经过率近100%

百度职称英语  

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答案与解析:

1. 剖析文章标题:Ginseng(人参) Shows(显示,展示) benefit(利益, 益处) in cancer(癌症) treatment(治疗)

文章主题词:ginseng, benefit, cancer, treatment

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