Ginger nutrition values, ginger health benefits and ginger side effects
ginger root, ginger tea, rhizome and extracts updated on July 09, 2011 Zhion@zhion.com
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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. It gives you the earthy taste and favor of the fish.
Fish (omega-3 fatty acid) and 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 various conditions. In vitro studies
suggest that ginger has antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, and hypoglycemic effects and may additionally protect
against Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
Recently, researchers from Nanjing University, China, demonstrated the use of Magnolia bark and ginger
rhizome to treat depression in rats. The combined treatment of honokiol and magnolol with ginger essential oil
exerted synergistic antidepressant-like effects by prossibly regulating the serotonergic and gastroenteric system
functions.  There are couples interesting findings found about the health benefits of ginger in 2009. For
examples, researchers from The University of Michigan Medical School showed a combination of 10% curcumin
and 3% ginger extract allowed a rapid wound repair in hairless rats, with a manifestation of collagen production
and a slow production of matrix metalloproteinase-9 production.  But, I won’t put ginger extract on my wound,
even though it is aseptic. A rat study in Saudi Arabia further confirmed the protective effects of ginger extract on
neurological system against monosodium glutamate -induced toxicity.  Researchers from University of
Minnesota showed that -gingerol effectively suppressed tumor growth in vivo 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.
Benefits ginger root
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.
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 from ginger 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
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
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 Z. officinale 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. Surh
YJ et al, Seoul National University, found anti-tumor properties of these compounds. 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 ginger extracts.
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.
Discuss with your doctor before taking any alternative medicine. This article is for
reference only, it is not a medical advice. All rights reserved. Do not copy this article to
other website or blog.