A recent study suggested that ginger might hold promise for combating inflammation related to various autoimmune disorders.
Researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Colorado in Denver recently embarked on a clinical study investigating the effects of ginger.
A group of healthy participants were asked to take 20 mg of gingerols each day over the course of one week. The results published recently in JCI Insight suggest that ginger disrupted the processes behind the production of inflammation in the body.
This anti-inflammatory effect is important since most of the over 80 autoimmune diseases known to the medical community today, such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, are incurable. This means most patients must bear with and manage the symptoms of their disease for the rest of their lives.
“This research suggests that ginger supplements could revolutionize the management of autoimmune diseases, such as [antiphospholipid syndrome] and lupus, by changing how specific immune cells function,” remarked Kelsey Costa, a registered dietician, according to Medical News Today.
“Combining ginger with existing treatments could potentially improve therapeutic outcomes in chronic inflammatory diseases,” Costa added.
Autoimmune diseases are the result of the immune system mistakingly targeting healthy cells of the body.
While this immune response manifests in a variety of ways, the study found that ginger specifically interacts with the creation of neutrophils — a type of white blood cell that forms the body’s first line of defense against harmful bacteria.
This process is called NETosis and results in higher levels of inflammation and clotting in the body among autoimmune patients.
The team had already observed a similar result among mice, and the quick results obtained in the clinical study show promise for future research on people with autoimmune conditions in particular.
“Our study included healthy people which allowed us to confirm our findings are applicable to people and not just a finding seen in a test tube,” the study’s senior co-author, Kristen Demoruelle, told Medical News Today.
Ginger is often considered a superfood because it contains several vital nutrients and has a wide range of health benefits. For instance, research suggests that consuming ginger might lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The obesity epidemic has reached a global scale, creating a significant burden to public health systems since carrying excess weight heightens the risk of developing a wide range of diseases, including depression, certain types of cancer, and more.
Several studies have recently looked further into ways superfoods might be applied to treating specific medical conditions.
For instance, as covered in The Dallas Express, an animal study published this month on spinach extract yielded promising results for healing the chronic ulcers suffered by diabetes patients.