Ginger’s obesity-fighting and anti-diabetic benefits underlined: China review

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The anti-obesity effects of ginger may be associated with its anti-inflammatory properties. ©iStock
The anti-obesity effects of ginger may be associated with its anti-inflammatory properties. ©iStock

Related tags Obesity

Recent studies have built a consensus that ginger has beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, according to a new review.

Academics says ginger has these effects by regulating fat metabolism, suppressing carbohydrate digestion, modulating insulin secretion and response, inhibiting oxidative stress, and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

The review, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences​, notes: “Epidemiological and clinical studies from recent years have built a consensus that ginger and its major constituents exert beneficial effects against metabolic syndrome.”

They added in addition to animal models and in vitro​ cell studies, several clinical studies have been conducted on humans to evaluate the beneficial effects of ginger.

The researchers, from China Agricultural University, said one study clearly demonstrated how ginger extract significantly reduced body weight and serum lipid levels in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD).

In particular, 6-gingerol, one of the major active compounds of ginger, exhibited anti-obesity effects by altering the activities and expressions of some lipid metabolism marker enzymes.”

Anti-inflammatory properties

In clinical studies on humans, one study showed how ginger supplementation had a beneficial effect on weight loss and some obesity-associated parameters in overweight and obese adults.

The researchers added the anti-obesity effects of ginger may be associated with its anti-inflammatory properties.

With regard to diabetes, and following a number of trials on animals, several recent clinical trials have demonstrated that ginger treatment can reduce levels of blood glucose and inflammation in diabetic patients.

The consumption of ginger was found to significantly improve insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.

Additionally, ginger exhibited beneficial effects on blood pressure and endothelial function in diabetic patients. These results mean that ginger could be useful in the treatment of diabetic complications,” they added.

The paper also underlines that ginger has been reported to have positive effects in both in vivo​ and in vitro ​studies assessing treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, while several studies have suggested that consumption of ginger and ginger-derived bioactive agents are associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

“On the basis of the above results, it is concluded that the beneficial effects of ginger in controlling lipid disorders, lowering plasma cholesterol levels, preventing hypertension, and improving endothelial function contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders,”​ added the paper.

“However, further studies are advocated to evaluate the effects of ginger and its main components in human subjects in the prevention and/or treatment of metabolic disorders,”​ the researchers concluded.

Source: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13375  

“Beneficial effects of ginger Zingiber officinale Roscoe on obesity and metabolic syndrome: a review”

Authors: Jing Wang, et al.

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