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Seattle Beauty™ Tip: Fight aging and diseases with ginger

By cwan | April 21st, 2017

At the Seattle Gummy’s lab, scientists often try different flavor combinations for the new products in the pipeline. Every once in a while, we office folks will get a batch of products with different flavors and are asked to vote for the best flavor. And, every single time, ginger flavor wins!

Originated in Asia, ginger is used both as a spice and condiment to add flavor to food and extensively in herbal medicine for treating various age related diseases. Specifically, ginger can in found in formulations for treating degenerative disorders such as arthritis and rheumatism, cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, inflammatory disorders such as gastritis, esophagitis, cancer, diabetes, and for general prevention or delay of aging.

Ginger is becoming increasingly popular in US in recent years and its health-promoting effects are becoming increasingly known. The health benefits of ginger have been attributed to its rich phytochemicals, which can be grouped into volatile compounds and non-volatile compounds. The volatile compounds provide the distinct aroma and taste of ginger. The non-volatile compounds are responsible for the pungent taste of ginger.

Modern pharmacological studies have confirmed ginger’s has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-oxidative properties:

Anti-oxidative properties: Studies showed that ginger has an equal antioxidant effect to that of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).  Animal modeling showed that ginger scavenges free radicals, significantly lower lipid peroxidation, and raise the levels of antioxidant enzymes. These results suggested that ginger could have similar or better anti-aging effect as vitamin C.

Anti-inflammatory effects: Ginger is believed to strengthen immune system.  Studies have shown that compounds in ginger can inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines, down-regulate inflammatory gene expression and inhibit the excessive production of inflammatory factors in human body.  Because of its potency in inhibiting allergic reactions, ginger may be useful for treating and prevention of allergic diseases. In addition, several studies suggested that ginger might be useful in treating Parkinson’s disease.

Anti-cancer effects:  Studies has shown that several compounds in ginger exhibit anti-cancer activities.  These studies suggested that ginger and its bioactive molecules may be effective in preventing colorectal, gastric, ovarian, liver, skin, breast, and prostate cancers.

Anti-diabetic effects: Some studies have proven the effectiveness of ginger against diabetes and its complications.   Researchers have shown that ginger significantly lower blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides, and raised HDL in hyperglycemic and diabetic animal models. For example, Bhandari et al. showed that ginger extract fed orally for 20 days produced a significant anti-hyperglycemic effect in diabetic animal models.  Nammi et al. showed that ginger extract reduced body weights and levels of glucose, insulin, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and phospholipids in people with high-fat diets.

Now, I hope that I’ve gotten you all wind up on the greatness of ginger.  Start drinking ginger tea, sprinkle ginger into your soups and dishes, and of course incorporating this nature given miracle into your skin care regime. You won’t regret it.

Happy Friday!

Dr. Connie Wan

Journal Reference:

Nafiseh Shokri Mashhadi et al. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence, Int. J. Prev. Med