Ginger has many health benefits.: image via mediconweb.comBiochemistry research at Georgia State University has led to the discovery that an extract of whole ginger has both preventative and curative properties for prostate cancer. Serious research began on the tails of a project of an undergraduate chemistry major who read scientific papers about selected compounds of the ginger plant, but...
... nothing about possible medicinal applications for the whole plant. So the student, Vibhuti Simran Sharma, decided to try to conduct an extract of the entire plant. This, under the guidance of Ritu Aneja, associate professor of biology at GSU, Sharma managed to do, after considerable experimentation trying to obtain the extract from the ginger plant.
Although Sharma had just enough time to test the extract on prostate, breast, and cervical cancer cells, she graduated from college. Fortunately, her study was picked up by Aneja and other students who conducted further studies, testing the ginger extract further on prostate cancer cells. It was this research, aided occasionally by Sharma, that showed that whole ginger extract was successful in stopping the growth of cancer cells and killing some. Animal studies showed a tumor regression rate up to 60 percent and there were no toxic side effects to healthy cells.
Though there have been other studies of specific ginger molecules that have beneficial properties for cancer patients, Aneja believes that using extract from a whole plant allows all of the plant's molecules to interact synergistically to the betterment of the patient and cause fewer side effects.
Using all the plant's molecules is also a more efficient way to obtain compounds with medicinal properties, as the process of extracting just one compound is very laborious and expensive. (And synthetic processing of individual molecular compounds can take a very long time to figure out, as has been noted in the treatment of huperzine A, a natural component of an endangered Chinese moss used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.)
"In looking at the data, a human would have to consume
only about 3½ ounces of whole ginger extract in a daily diet to
get the beneficial effects."
The study is published in the British Journal of Nutrition. For more information about the healthful effects of ginger visit Medic On Web.
Editor's Note: Whole Ginger Extract is readily available at many gocery and health food stores. On Amazon, Nature's Way Ginger Extract is the most reviewed and highly ranked of the ginger extract supplements.
sources: Cambridge Journal Press Release via Medical News Today