Ginger and the Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension and Related Diseases

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The liquid extract of dried ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has been shown to assist in the prevention and treatment of major medical conditions that are prevalent around the world.  Hypertension (high blood pressure) is an ever-increasing reversible health risk contributing to several serious diseases.  Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death in the world.  It results when atherosclerosis combines with hypertension (Liu, et al. 2015). 

In the United States, often CVD diagnosis includes components of Metabolic Syndrome, namely hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes.  According to Western biomedical understanding, these conditions are due to inflammation.  This is consistent with Qi and Blood stagnation in Chinese Medical Theory.  Dried ginger increases ‘yang’ or warm energy within the meridian system, thus reducing inflammation.

Research has shown that the dehydrated form of 6-Gingerol is 6-Shogaol which has more potent bioactivity.  It can inhibit the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) thus reducing their contribution to plaque formation.  It activates nuclear factor E2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its target gene HO-1.  This elevated activity of HO-1 has been linked to reduced VSMC proliferation and prevention of cardiovascular disease (Liu, et al. 2015).  [Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a master transcription factor that upregulates antioxidant response elements (AREs)-mediated expression of antioxidant enzyme and cytoprotective proteins. HO-1 is Heme Oxygenase 1, a gene that is shown to mediate oxidation and promote cell homeostasis.]

Ginger can be used in the treatment of other components of Metabolic Syndrome caused by inflammation, including diabetes.  C-reactive protein (CRP), produced in the liver and carried in plasma is present in higher levels as a response to inflammation.  In a systematic review and meta-analysis, the administration of ginger in the treatment of inflammation significantly reduced the level of CRP and improved the glycemia index and lipid profile (Mazidi, Gao, Rezaie & Ferns 2016).  Furthermore, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of patients with type 2 diabetes, ginger was shown to be able to reduce serum levels of blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c and the LDL/HDL ratio (Arzati, et al., 2017)

In 2017, a cross-sectional study was undertaken to evaluate the correlation between daily ginger intake and the presence of chronic diseases.  Consisting of nearly five thousand subjects, the study determined statistically that, as the daily intake of ginger increased, the probability of hypertension and cardiovascular disease was reduced (Wang, et al., 2016).

References:

Arzati, M., Honarvar, N., Saedisomeolia, A., Anvari, S., Effatpanah, M., Arzati, R., Yekaninejad, M., Hashemi, R., Djaladi, M. (2017).  The effects of ginger on fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and lipid profiles in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.  International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 15(4) e57927.  http://doi.org/10.5812/ijem.57927

Liu, R., Heiss, E. H., Sider, N., Schinkovitz, A., Gröblacher, B., Guo, D., Atanasov, A. G. (2015). Identification and characterization of [6]-shogaol from ginger as inhibitor of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 59(5), 843–852. http://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201400791

Mazidi, M., Gao, H.-K., Rezaie, P., & Ferns, G. A. (2016). The effect of ginger supplementation on serum C-reactive protein, lipid profile and glycaemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Food & Nutrition Research, 60, 10.3402/fnr.v60.32613. http://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v60.32613

Wang, Y., Yu, H., Zhang, X., Feng, Q., Guo, X., Li, R., Chu, D., Ma, Y. (2016).  Evaluation of daily ginger consumption for the prevention of chronic diseases in adults: A cross-sectional study.  Nutrition 36(4), 79-84.  http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2016.05.009

Zhu, J., Chen, H., Song, Z., Wang, X., & Sun, Z. (2018). Effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and components of the Metabolic Syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM, 2018, 5692962. http://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5692962   Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818945/

 

 

Lily ChoiComment