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Meta-analysis adds evidence to ginger’s anti-inflammatory effect

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 16 2016. A systematic review and meta-analysis reported on the November 1, 2016 in Food & Nutrition Researchaffirms an association between supplementing with ginger and a reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation), in addition to improved lipids, glucose, and hemoglobin A1c (which measures long-term glucose control).

Mohsen Mazidi, of Beijing’s Chinese Academy of Sciences and colleagues selected nine controlled trials that included a total of 449 subjects for their analysis. Ginger doses ranged from 1 to 3 grams per day consumed for 8 weeks to 3 months.

Pooled data revealed an average reduction of 0.84 milligrams per liter (mg/L) CRP in association with ginger supplementation. The decrease in CRP was not found to be dependent on the dose of ginger consumed. Fasting blood glucose averaged 1.35 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) lower and hemoglobin A1c was reduced by an average of 1 percentage point.  Among lipids, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased by an average of 1.16 mg/dL and triglycerides averaged 1.63 mg/dL lower.

As potential mechanisms, the authors note that ginger has been proposed to lower cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2, an enzyme involved in inflammation), and inhibit the expression of nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Ginger’s blood glucose-lowering property has been suggested to be due to its phenol, polyphenol and flavonoid content.

“This systematic review showed that ginger supplementation can improve CRP level, glycaemia indexes, and lipid profile, which can be useful for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease,” Dr Mazidi and colleagues conclude. “Randomized clinical trials with a larger sample size and a longer follow up period should be considered for future investigations to give an unequivocal answer as to whether ginger can reduce CRP and improve glycaemia indexes and lipid profile.”

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