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Ginger has been studied to have value in over 150 health conditions with type 2 diabetes top on the list. With anti-diabetic drugs linked to increased cardiovascular mortality, natural alternatives are needed now more than ever.
While ginger is widely used as a spice today, its role as a healing agent is often overlooked in modern society despite its thousands of years of documented use as a powerful medicine. Modern science, however, is finally catching up to the wisdom of the ancients. For instance, there are over 2100 published studies on the medicinal properties of ginger in the scientific literature, and the Greenmedinfo.com database contains evidence that it has value in over 170 different health conditions, and has over 50 different beneficial physiological effects.
Notably, of all the conditions the research on ginger we have indexed reveals its therapeutic value for, type 2 diabetes is top on the list, with seven studies on our database providing proof of its efficacy. And the research keeps coming...
Half a Billion At Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder dominated by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), but with inflammation and oxidative stress driving the damage most directly linked to morbidity and mortality associated with the condition. It is our belief that this condition is driven primarily through a combination of an evolutionarily incompatible Western diet, inactivity, gut dysbiosis and multiple, cumulative chemical exposures, and yet rarely do physicians know how or care to address these root causes and reverse them, opting for pharmaceutical intervention and a fatalistic attitude that serves no one's best interest.
It is estimated that half a billion people will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes globally within the next two decades. The primary conventional treatment approaches using oral anti-diabetics and synthetic (GMO) insulin actually increase the risk of death, making it of vital importance to find safer, more effective alternatives.
New Study Finds Ginger a Power Anti-Diabetic Agent
A new study published in the journal Complementary and Integrative Medicine, "The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on glycemic markers in patients with type 2 diabetes," confirms that ginger is a serious contender for addressing some of the root causes underlying this devastating condition.
Iranian researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial on 20–60 -year-old patients with type 2 diabetes who were on oral anti-diabetic drugs but not on insulin. Participants in the intervention and control groups received 3,000 mgs of powdered ginger or placebo (lactose) (in capsules) daily for 3 months. Blood sugar (glycemic) indices, markers of oxidative stress (TAC , MDA, serum paraoxonase, HbA1c) and inflammation (CRP), dietary intake and physical activity were measured at the beginning and end of the study, and after 12 h fasting.
Comparison of the indices after 3 months showed the ginger intervention group improved in the following eight ways:
- Serum glucose dropped significantly (–19.41 ` 18.83 vs 1.63 ` 4.28 mg/dL, p < 0.001)
- HbA1c percentage (a marker of glucose/oxidative stress mediated amage to red blood cells) dropped significantly (–0.77 ` 0.88 vs 0.02 ` 0.16%, p < 0.001)
- Insulin dropped significantly (–1.46 ` 1.7 vs 0.09 ` 0.34 μIU/mL, p < 0.001),
- Insulin resistance dropped significantly (–16.38 ` 19.2 vs 0.68 ` 2.7, p < 0.001)
- High-sensitive CRP (a marker of inflammation) dropped significantly (–2.78 ` 4.07 vs 0.2 ` 0.77 mg/L, p < 0.001)
- Paraoxonase-1 (a marker for reduced oxidative stress) increased significantly (PON-1) (22.04 ` 24.53 vs 1.71 ` 2.72 U/L, p < 0.006)
- Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) increased significantly (0.78 ` 0.71 vs –0.04 ` 0.29 μIU/mL, p < 0.01)
- Malondialdehyde (MDA) (a biomarker of oxidative stress) dropped significantly (–0.85 ` 1.08 vs 0.06 ` 0.08 μmol/L, p < 0.001)
This study is actually almost identical in its findings to one we reported on last year in an article titled, "A Modest Dose of Ginger Improves 8 Markers of Diabetes Type 2," where an even smaller dose of ginger (1600 mg), also administered for 3 months, resulted in significant reductions in the following parameters:
- 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
Clearly ginger provides a wide range of side benefits beyond simply lowering blood sugar. Oxidative stress, inflammation, chronically elevated levels of insulin and/or resistance to it, all contribute to the primary cause of morbidity and mortality associated with condition: cardiovascular disease. Whereas conventional drug treatment for type 2 diabetes focuses on lowering blood sugar and HbA1c, even though both oral antidiabetic drugs and insulin appear to raise the risk of heart attack, ginger appears to do reduce the blood sugar and the cardiovascular disease risk, effectively freeing two birds with one hand.
Over 150, Evidence-Based, Anti-Diabetic Substances Exist
While amazing, ginger is not the only natural remedy for type 2 diabetes that has compelling research to support it. You can peruse our type 2 diabetes database and you'll find over 180 natural substances that have been studied to have potential value in the condition. You'll also see research there on therapeutic activities like exercise and problem substances like fructose and pesticides that contribute to the condition.
We should note that if there is one substance that holds the greatest promise, even beyond ginger, it is turmeric. This ancient Indian spice appears to prevent and perhaps even reverse some of the damage associated with type 2 diabetes, and has been found to have potential therapeutic value in a staggering 600 plus health conditions. You can read the following research reports to get a better sense of tumeric's amazing anti-diabetic power: