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A promising new study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition reveals that the popular kitchen spice ginger may be an effective treatment for the prevention of diabetes and its complications.
Ginger is in the same plant family (Zingiberacea) that includes the medicinal powerhouse turmeric, and which only recently was proven to be 100% effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics, according to a study published in the American Diabetes Association's own journal Diabetes Care.
In 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,"[i] 70 type 2 diabetic patients were enrolled in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the objective of which was to assess the effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some common inflammatory markers associated with the condition.
The trial participants were divided randomly into a ginger group and control group, receiving either 1600 mg ginger or a 1600 mg placebo daily for 12 weeks. The patients were measured before and after the intervention for blood sugar levels, blood lipids, C-reactive protein, prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα).
As a result of the intervention, ginger treatment reduced the following parameters significantly compared with the placebo group:
- Fasting plasma glucose
- HbA1C (aka glycated hemoglobin) - a measurement of how much damage is being caused by sugars to red blood cells in the body, reflective of body wide damage caused 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
No significant differences in HDL, LDL and TNFα between two groups (p > 0.05).
The researchers 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."
Ginger Already Proven To Have Anti-Diabetic Properties
This is, of course, not the first study to establish the value of ginger for diabetes. Simply dropping the two search terms "diabetes" and "ginger" into Pubmed.gov will draw up 63 results. Our database of abstracts on ginger contains a number of gems on its benefit for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes which can be viewed here: Ginger Health Benefits.