News - Ginger shown to reduce colon inflammation
In a new study available in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and colleagues have published data that shows that ginger root supplements can reduce levels of the inflammatory messenger prostaglandin E2, as well as other biomarkers of colon inflammation.
Past studies have shown that an increase in the level of inflammatory messengers, and in particular prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), is an early event in the development of colon cancer. In addition, there is laboratory evidence suggesting that ginger is able to reduce the production of PGE2, as well as animal data linking ginger to lower incidence and number of colon polyps in rats.
This new study set out to test the effect of a daily dose of ginger supplement on levels of PGE2 and other inflammatory biomarkers on the colons of 30 healthy human volunteers. The researchers randomly assigned 30 participants to take either 2g a day of ginger extract or placebo for 28 days. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was used to take biopsy colon samples from the participants at the start of the study and then again on day 28.
When the biopsies were analysed, the researchers found that the ginger supplement group showed a significant decrease in mean percent change in PGE2 and other inflammatory markers. The researchers concluded: "On the basis of these results, it seems that ginger has the potential to decrease eicosanoid levels, perhaps by inhibiting their synthesis from arachidonic acid."
Zick SM et al. Phase II Study of the Effects of Ginger Root Extract on Eicosanoids in Colon Mucosa in People at Normal Risk for Colorectal Cancer. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Nov;4(11):1929-37.