The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition recently published a study which reports that ginger could be the new alternative therapy for the prevention of diabetes and its side effects. According to a different study published in the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care, ginger belongs to the same family (Zingiberacea) as turmeric, another spice with numerous medicinal properties, and it has only recently been proven to be 100% efficient in inhibiting the onset of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics.
The new ginger study, titled “The effect of ginger consumption of glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” involved 70 type 2 diabetic patients in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which was aimed at evaluating the influence of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some common inflammatory markers linked to this condition.
In the study, the participants were divided randomly into two groups – a ginger group and control group. The first group was given 1600mg ginger, whereas the second 1600mg placebo every day for 3 months. Several parameters including blood sugar levels, blood lipids, C-reactive protein, prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) were measured in the patients before and after the experiment.
- Fasting plasma glucose
- HbA1C (aka glycated hemoglobin) – a measurement of how much damage is caused to red blood cells in the body by sugars, as well as how much damage is caused to the body by chronically elevated blood sugar
- HOMA (the homeostatic model assessment) – which measures insulin resistance and beta-cell function (the pancreatic cells that produce insulin)
- Total cholesterol
- C-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation
- Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) – a marker of inflammation
There were no substantial differences in HDL, LDL and TNFα between the two groups (p > 0.05).
The study concluded:
“Ginger improved insulin sensitivity and some fractions of lipid profile, and reduced CRP and PGE2 in type 2 diabetic patients. Therefore ginger can be considered as an effective treatment for prevention of diabetes complications.”
How Much Was Used?
As for the amount of ginger used in the study, the subjects were given two doses of 800mg, delivered twice a day, in the form of capsules. This amounted to 1.6 grams, which in culinary terms equals about ¼ teaspoon. In addition, it was found that higher doses does of complex plant extracts within the spice category are not always better, and in some cases, can even produce counter-effects. Namely, this study discovered that rosemary at a lower dose (750mg) improved cognition while a higher dose (6,000mg) hampered it. To conclude, lower doses, such as used traditionally in cooking, passed down to us for generations as ‘recipes’ (literally: ‘medical prescriptions’), are in fact more health beneficial than higher ones.