ginger benefits and side effects
ginger root, ginger tea, rhizome and extracts updated on August 7, 2013
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Ginger (Ginger Root; Zingiberis Rhizome)
In traditional Cantonese dish, balancing flavor in food is believed to promote physical and mental well-being. Soy sauce
is often combined with ginger for preparing steamed fish. Fish (omega-3 fatty acid) combined ginger could possibly offer
us lots of health benefits. Over the last 20 years, numerous studies have shown the potential benefits of ginger in
treating different conditions. In vitro studies suggest that ginger has antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, and hypoglycemic
effects and may additionally protect against Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
Ginger (Zingiberis Rhizome) may offer many health benefits. Researchers found the Magnolia bark and ginger rhizome
are useful to treat depression in rats. And, the combined treatment of honokiol and magnolol with ginger essential oil
exerted synergistic antidepressant-like effects, regulation of serotonergic and gastroenteric system functions may be
involved.  A combination of 10% curcumin and 3% ginger extract accelerated wound repair in hairless rats, with a
manifestation of collagen production and a slow production of matrix metalloproteinase-9 production.  A rat study
further confirmed the protective effects of ginger extract on neurological system against monosodium glutamate -
induced toxicity.  A separate study showed that -gingerol effectively suppressed tumor growth in nude mice via
the inhibition of leukotriene A(4) hydrolase (LTA(4)H) activity. And, LTA(4)H is regarded as a relevant target for cancer
therapy.  This article reviews the recent research findings about the potential health benefits and side effects of
ginger health benefits
Ginger may benefit people at risk of some gastric diseases; ginger also shows anti-bacterial activities. Ginger root
extract was demonstrated to have a dose-dependent antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans.  A methanol ginger root extract containing gingerols
inhibited the growth of all helicobacter pylori strains.  In another in vitro study, ginger root extracts containing the
gingerols inhibited the growth of H. pylori CagA+ strains.  Since, helicobacter pylori (HP) is the primary etiological
agent associated with dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease and the development of gastric and colon cancer, some
researchers believe that ginger and its extracts may benefit those suffered from or at risk of certain gastric diseases.
Nausea and Vomiting
Ginger may have beneficial effects on nausea and vomiting of pregnant women. Ginger has antiemetic and anxiolytic
activities. It may also help morning sickness. Shogoal and gingerol, chemicals of gingerm may stimulate the flow of
saliva, bile, and gastric secretions. Ginger was also found to suppress gastric contractions and improve intestinal muscle
tone and peristalsis. Constituents in ginger may interact with 5HT-3 receptors and may be partially responsible for its
antiemetic (antinausea) benefits. [Montreal Gazette.com July 2011]
A recent single blind clinical trial study of 67 pregnant women showed that twice administration of 250 mg of ginger daily
for four days could subside the incidents of vomiting.  Animals treated with ginger root extract show decreased
occupancy in the closed arm of the elevated plus maze suggesting the presence of anxiolytic principles. Ginger root
extract also blocked lithium sulphate-induced conditioned place aversion indicating antiemetic activity.  Four double-
blind randomized placebo-controlled trial suggests that ginger root is helpful for women suffering from morning sickness,
nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.  Its effects on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is as good as vitamin B6.
However, a study in Thailand of 138 women shows that there is no significant difference between ginger and vitamin B6
for the treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.  Researchers also found that taking ginger supplements
(for 6 days since 3 days before chemotherapy) accompanied by the routine antiemetic treatment could relieve
chemotherapy-induced vomiting in all phases. [B1]
Ginger may promote gastric intestinal motility Intake of ginger Root (Zingiberis Rhizome) was found to enhance the
transport of a charcoal meal in a study of mice. 
Ginger may offer benefits on reproduction. Ginger root extract was found to significantly increase in the relative weight
of the testis, the serum testosterone level, testicular cholesterol level and epididymal a-glucosidase activity in a study of
Wistar rats. 
Ginger has more than 50 antioxidants. Ginger root extract was shown to have antioxidant activities in a cell study. It may
contain more 50 antioxidants.  In one study, ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale) was found to protect+ mice against
radiation-induced lethality. The irradiation of animals resulted in a dose-dependent elevation in the lipid peroxidation.
However, treatment of mice with ginger rhizome before irradiation caused a significant depletion in lipid peroxidation. 
Ginger may benefit people at risk of cardiovascular diseases. Ginger was found to inhibit 50% of a distinct development
of atheroma in the aorta and coronary arteries of rabbits in a study. There was also distinct decrease in lipid
peroxidation and enhancement of fibrinolytic activity in ginger treated animals. Authors suggested the protection was
probably because of its free radical scavanging, prostaglandin inhibitory and fibri properties. 
Treatment with ginger also caused a decrease in serum cholesterol, serum triglyceride and blood pressure in diabetic
rats. The data suggest a potential antidiabetic activity of the juice of Z. officinale in type I diabetic rats, possibly involving
5-HT receptors. 
Ginger root extract was also demonstrated to reduce rat paw and skin edema. 
Ginger may benefit people at risk of osteoarthritis. Ginger root extract can be used to treat osteoarthritis, as
researchers found ginger decreased the productin of inflammatory mediators in sow osteoarthrotic cartilage explants. 
Ginger may benefit people at risk of cancer. Adding ginger root extract into drinking water was found to reduce the risk
of mammary tumor in study of mice.  Dietary ginger constituents, galanals A and B, are found to be potent apoptosis
inducers in Human T lymphoma Jurkat cells  In addition, the rhizome of ginger contains pungent vanillyl ketones,
including -gingerol and -paradol, and has been reported to possess a strong anti-inflammatory activity. These
pungent substances have a vanilloid structure found in other chemopreventive phytochemicals, including curcumin.
Topical application of -gingerol or -paradol 30 min prior to 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)
attenuated the skin papillomagenesis initiated by 7,12 dimethylbenz[a]anthracene in female ICR mice.
Reactive nitrogen species (RNS), such as nitric oxide (NO) and its derivatives, e.g. peroxynitrite (ONOO-), have been
proposed as being able to influence signal transduction and cause DNA damage, contributing to carcinogenic
processes. While, -gingerol is found to be a potent inhibitor of NO synthesis and also an effective protector against
peroxynitrite-mediated damage.  While, other researchers found that 6-gingerol induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells.
However, this activity was not related its anti-oxidative activity. 
Ginger may benefit people at risk of diabetes Antidiabetic and hypoglycemic drugs enhance adipocyte differentiation of
3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Study demonstrates gingerol-treated cells increase insulin-sensitive glucose uptake. Thus,
ginger may enhance the insulin-sensitivity, and improve chronic disease, such as diabetes. 
In a study with diabetic rats, treatment with Z. officinale (i.e. ginger) produced a significant increase in insulin levels and
a decrease in fasting glucose levels in diabetic rats. In an oral glucose tolerance test, treatment with Z. officinale was
found to decrease significantly the area under the curve (i.e. the extent of absorption) of glucose and to increase the
area under the curve of insulin in STZ-diabetic rats. 
Acute hyperglycemia evokes gastric slow wave dysrhythmias via endogenous prostaglandin generation. Ginger exhibits
slow wave antiarrhythmic effects. 
Ginger may benefit people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease
An important feature for Alzheimer's disease is neuritic plaque. Neuritic plaques are extracellular deposits of beta-
amyloid peptides (Abeta). In the central nervous system neuritic plaques are surrounded by activated microglial cells
expressing pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and neurotoxic mediators. Long-term activation of microglial cells is
suspected to contribute to the neuron loss in Alzheimer's disease.
Current research findings indicate that ginger can inhibit the activation of human monocytic THP-1 cells by different pro-
inflammatory stimuli and reduce the expression of a wide range of inflammation-related genes in these microglial-like
cells. Consequently, ginger extract may be useful in delaying the onset and the progression of neurodegenerative
disorders involving chronically activated microglial cells in the central nervous system. 
Ginger Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings
In general, ginger appears to be safe. Side effects of ginger were not reported in most studies. [22-24] A study of
healthy subjects reports no severe ginger side effects, based on biochemistry data.  While studies of treating
nausea and vomiting or of cancer patients reported ginger side effects and the side effects are gastrointestinal
disturbance, sleepiness, restless, sedation and heartburn. [25-27] Finally, ginger may interact with surgical medications
including anesthesia, leading to arrhythmias, poor wound healing, bleeding, photosensitivity reaction, and prolonged
sedation.  Ginger has may also interact with certain anticoagulants and analgesics to cause bleeding. 
What ginger products are available?
Most ginger products are made from dried ginger root, fresh ginger root or from steam distillation of the oil in the root.
Ginger is available in extracts, tinctures, capsules, and oils. Most marketers suggest dose of 75-2000 mg in divided
doses with food. Since it interacts with certain medicine, users should discuss with their medical doctors before taking
This article outlines the key research findings about ginger in the last few years. In fact, there are lots more research
articles, however, most are done in animals not in human. Clinical studies are needed to clarify some of its beneficial
roles in our health. Finally, Please do not copy this article to other websites or any publications.