Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. The characteristic odor and flavor of ginger is caused by a mixture of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols, volatile oils that compose one to three percent of the weight of fresh ginger.
The gingerrols present in ginger increase the motility of the gastrointestinal tract and have analgesic, sedative, antipyretic and antibacterial properties. Ginger oil has been shown to prevent skin cancer and a study at the University of Michigan has shown that gingerols can kill ovarian cancer cells.
Advanced glycation end-products are possibly associated in the development of several pathophysiologies, including diabetic cataract for which ginger was effective in preliminary studies, apparently by acting through antiglycating mechanisms.
Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea, which is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries.
Colon and Colon Cancer
The human colon is a muscular, tube-shaped organ measuring about 4 feet long. It extends from the end of the small bowel to the anus, twisting and turning through abdomen (belly). The colon has 3 main functions.
- To digest and absorb nutrients from food,
- To concentrate fecal material by absorbing fluid (and electrolytes) from it,
- To store and control evacuation of fecal material
The right side of your colon plays a major role in absorbing water and electrolytes, while the left side is responsible for storage and evacuation of stool.
Colon or Colorectal cancer, is a cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth in the colon, rectum, or vermiform appendix. Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas-tumors that develop from the glands lining the colon’s inner wall. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world, but it is more common in the developed...
countries, with around 60% of cases diagnosed.
Ginger decreases the risk of colon cancer
As per the study published in Cancer Prevention Research, M Zick, a naturopathic physician and research associate professor at University of Michigan Medical Center and her colleagues found that ginger may decrease the risk of colon cancer by diminishing the inflammation in the gut.
They selected 30 volunteers to take pills containing two grams of either placebo powder or ginger root extract, equivalent to about two tablespoons of ground-up raw ginger root and recorded the inflammations in the participants’ intestines before and after. They found that participants taking ginger pills had 28% less inflammation in their intestines after the test, but no difference was found in those who took placebo.
Although the findings are promising, the researchers are not yet recommending people start taking more ginger with the meals as the study only involved 30 participants. Zick said they will launch a larger study in the future to ascertain the results with specific certainty.