Ginger Root Nmr News June 2009

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Ginger Root
By: Charles Spielholz, Ph.D

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  • 1. Volume 2, Issue 3, June 2009 Ginger Root Author: Charles Spielholz, Ph.D G inger, that spice that is found in millions of kitchens and has been used in cookies, candies, tea, and a variety of other foods around the world by many cultures has been recognized for its use in treating nausea. The Mayo Clinic has reported on its website that ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) reduces the severity and duration of nausea associated with chemotherapy.1 That research, which is still on going, was a phase II/III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial Ginger Root and has been reported in the medical literature.2 However, the good news does not end with chemotherapy; there is a growing body of scientific evidence that ginger may have potential for treating nausea (and vomiting) associated with surgery (post- operative nausea)3, pregnancy 4,5 and motion sickness.6 However, additional research is needed in order to completely understand which patients should receive ginger as a supplement for nausea, to know what the dosages should be administered, and to completely understand ginger's interaction with other treatments a person may be undergoing (see below). There are some reports that ginger inhibits the growth of cancer cells in laboratory experiments. In cell culture experiments conducted in the laboratory, ginger has shown some evidence of inhibiting the growth of ovarian7, gastric8 and colorectal9 cancer cells. However, ginger has not been tested as an anti-cancer agent in people; no clinical trials have been performed to show that ginger can be used to treat cancer in people. If progress in the laboratory continues to show promise, ginger may be a candidate for a clinical trial for the treatment of cancer. A 2002 report indicates that ginger may even protect users against Alzheimer's disease10; however, as with the preliminary laboratory evidence as an anticancer agent, the use of ginger as a method to protect an individual from Alzheimer's disease has not been shown clinically and is not recommended. 1
  • 2. Volume 2, Issue 3, June 2009 Scientific evidence from experiments designed to show the mechanism of action of ginger's potential therapeutic actions has been promising. Evidence exists that the anti-nausea and anti-vomiting properties of ginger include suppression of contractions of the digestive tract11. Ginger may also interact with a subtype of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptor12 which may be part of the mechanism by which ginger inhibits nausea and vomiting. With regard to tumor biology, components have been identified in ginger that have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the laboratory setting.7, 8, 9 Ginger inhibits clotting 13, 14, 15 and therefore must not be used by people with bleeding disorders or who are taking anti-clotting medicines to prevent stroke or heart attack or who may be pre- or post-surgery without directly consulting with their physician. Also, since ginger has effects on nausea and vomiting, one should not take ginger if they are also taking proton-pump inhibitors or H-2 blockers without consulting their physician. REFERE CES 1) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ginger/NS_patient-ginger 2) Hickok JT, Roscoe JA, Morrow GR, Ryal JL. (2007). A Phase II/III Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for Nausea Caused by Chemotherapy for Cancer: A Currently Accruing URCC CCOP Cancer Control Study. Support Cancer Ther. 4:247-250. 3) Phillips S, Ruggier R, Hutchinson SE. (1993). Zingiber officinale (ginger) -- an antiemetic for day case surgery. Anaesthesia 48:715-717. 4) Smith C, Crowther C, Willson K, Hotham N, McMillian V. (2004). A randomized controlled trial of ginger to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 103:639-645. 5) Vutyavanich T, Kraisarin T, Ruangsri R. (2001). Ginger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 97:577-582. 6) Ernst E, Pittler MH. (2000). Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systemic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J Anaesth. 84:367-71. 7) Rhode J, Fogoros S, Zick S, Wahl H, Griffith KA, Huang J, Liu JR. (2007). Ginger inhibits cell growth and modulates angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 7:44. 8) Ishiguro K, Ando T, Maeda O, Ohmiya N, Niwa Y, Kadomatsu K, Goto H. (2007) Ginger ingredients reduce viability of gastric cancer cells via distinct mechanisms. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 362:218-223. 9) Lee SH, Cekanova M, Baek SJ. (2008). Multiple mechanisms are involved in 6-gingerol-induced cell growth arrest and apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells. Mol Carcinog. 47:197-208. 10) Kim DS, Kim DS, Oppel MN. (2002). Shogaols from Zingiber officinale protect IMR32 human neuroblastoma and normal human umbilical vein endothelial cells from beta-amyloid(25-35) insult. Planta Med. 68:375-376. 11) Bisset NG. (1994) Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals; a Handbook for Practice on Scientific Basis. Boca Raton: Medpharm Publishers, Boca Raton, Florida. 12) Lumb AB. (1993) Mechanism of antiemetic effect of ginger. Anaesthesia 48:1118. 13) Srivastava KC. (1986). Isolation and effects of some ginger components on platelet aggregation and eicosanoid biosynthesis. Prostaglandins Leukot Med. 25:187-198. 14) Shalansky S, Lynd L, Richardson K, Ingaszewski A, Kerr C. (2007). Risk of warfarin-related bleeding events and supratherapeutic international normalized ratios associated with complementary and alternative medicine: a longitudinal analysis. Pharmacotherapy 27:1237-1247. 15) Lumb AB. (1994). Effect of dried ginger on human platelet function. Thromb Haemost. 71:110-1. 2