Ginger linked to healthier hearts: Study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image © iStockPhoto / Elenathewise
Image © iStockPhoto / Elenathewise

Related tags: Coronary heart disease, Heart disease, Hypertension

Daily consumption of ginger may reduce the risk of many chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, says a new paper from Chinese researchers.

Data published in Nutrition​ indicated that daily ginger consumption was associated with an 8% lower risk of developing hypertension and a 13% lower risk of coronary heart disease in adults.

“The data indicated that ginger had a potential preventive property against some chronic diseases, especially hypertension and coronary heart disease as well as its ability to reduce the probability of illness by increasing 1g/d ginger intake on the basis of prior diet,”​ wrote the researchers.

“It was a heart-healthy alternative to appropriately increase ginger consumption every day being recommended as a good dietary choice.”

Ginger

The new study adds to an ever growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of ginger.

The rhizome of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale​) is a rich source of antioxidants, including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones and other ketone derivatives. It has been reported to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities.

Study details

For the new study, the researchers assessed the effects of different ginger intakes (0-2g/d, 2g-4g/d, 4-6g/d) in 4,628 men and women aged over 18 for a range of chronic diseases, including anaemia, cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension.

Results showed that there was only an association for ginger and the risk of hypertension and coronary heart disease in people over 18. Similar risk reductions were also observed when the researchers looked at over 40s only. However, the association with hypertension disappeared in people over 60.

The researchers noted that the precise mechanism(s) by which ginger may reduce the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases are not yet well understood, but could be related to a potential inhibitory action on angiotensin-1-converting enzyme (ACE) and prevention of lipid peroxidation in the heart. They also note that the effects could linked to the polyphenol content of ginger.

“On the basis of the present study, we provided a preliminary suggestion that daily intake of 2-4g/d ginger could prevent chronic diseases. However, larger different studies were necessary to be designed to confirm our findings and determine the optimum daily ginger intake for the prevention of chronic diseases,” ​they concluded.

Source: Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.05.009
“Evaluation of daily ginger consumption for the prevention of chronic diseases in adults: a cross-section study”
Authors: Y. Wang et al.

Related topics: Research, Cardiovascular health, Botanicals

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