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Ginger May Lower Blood Glucose in Diabetics

Sunday February 4, 2018
Ginger May Lower Blood Glucose in Diabetics

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is spreading at an alarming rate, where approximately one person in the UK is newly diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes (1). In most cases, T2D can be managed by undertaking dietary and lifestyle changes.

 

Along with modifying lifestyle habits, supplementing the diet with therapeutic herbs may help manage blood glucose levels in diabetics, as suggested by compelling scientific evidence (2). In particular, ginger supplementation has been found to improve fasting blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity in T2D (3).

 

After analysing results from 10 different studies involving 490 participants, Zhu et al. encouraged the use of ginger to help manage T2D (3). The included studies randomly assigned participants to take a ginger capsule or a placebo. The dose of ginger ranged from 1-3g/day, and the intervention trials ranged from 1-3 months in duration.

 

 

 

After ginger supplementation, a decrease in HbA1c (glycosylated haemoglobin), fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (insulin resistance index) was observed, thus supporting the proposed benefits of ginger. In addition, ginger supplementation improved blood lipid profiles of participants, which may reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

 

It is proposed that the gingerol and shogaol, the main active ingredients of ginger, contribute to the detected glucose-lowering effects. Moreover, 6-gingerol is believed to stimulate glucose metabolism, and may protect pancreatic ??-cells, that are responsible for insulin production (4).

 

Although the current evidence is promising, long-term trials are required to assess the efficacy of ginger on disease prevention and T2D reversal.

 

In conclusion, daily ginger supplementation by 1g may be safely incorporated into a diabetic’s lifestyle, to promote balanced blood sugar levels. 

 

Author: Salma Dawood is a  Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

 

References:
1)      Diabetes UK, Facts & Figures. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/professionals/position-statements-reports/statistics
2)      Chang, Cicero L. T. et al. “Herbal Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Chemistry, Biology, and Potential Application of Selected Plants and Compounds.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2013 (2013): 378657. PMC. Web. 2 Feb. 2018.
3)      Jie Zhu, Hao Chen, Zhixiu Song, Xudong Wang, and Zhenshuang Sun, “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, vol. 2018, Article ID 5692962, 11 pages, 2018. doi:10.1155/2018/5692962
4)      D. Chakraborty, A. Mukherjee, S. Sikdar, A. Paul, S. Ghosh, and A. R. Khuda-Bukhsh, “[6] Gingerol isolated from ginger attenuates sodium arsenite induced oxidative stress and plays a corrective role in improving insulin signaling in mice,” Toxicology Letters, vol. 210, no. 1, pp. 34–43, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.01.002.

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

 

TAGS: Nutrition News and Views

 

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