Ginger Supplements May Aid in Controlling Inflammation in Autoimmune Diseases
TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — New research suggests that ginger supplements could potentially help individuals with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, in managing inflammation. The study provides further evidence of the positive impact of ginger on the function of white blood cells, particularly neutrophils.
Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), also known as NETosis, play a significant role in regulating inflammation. The research team aimed to understand how ginger affects the formation of NETs and their involvement in controlling inflammation.
According to the study, individuals who took ginger supplements demonstrated increased resistance of their neutrophils to NETosis. NETs are microscopic structures that resemble spider webs and contribute to inflammation and clotting, which are underlying factors in various autoimmune diseases.
Co-senior author Dr. Kristen Demoruelle, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, noted, “There are many diseases where neutrophils are abnormally overactive. We found that ginger can help restrict NETosis, and this is important because it is a natural supplement that may be useful in treating inflammation and symptoms in people with different autoimmune diseases.”
A clinical trial involving healthy volunteers revealed that a daily intake of 20 mg of gingerols for a week boosted the cAMP (Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate) chemical within neutrophils. Increased cAMP levels inhibited the NETosis response to the disease.
Co-senior author Dr. Jason Knight, an associate professor in the division of rheumatology at the University of Michigan, stated, “Our research, for the first time, provides evidence of the biological mechanism underlying ginger’s apparent anti-inflammatory properties in people.”
The research team believes that sharing this evidence regarding the impact of ginger on neutrophils will encourage discussions between healthcare providers and patients about the potential benefits of ginger supplements in their treatment plans. Knight further emphasized that there are few natural supplements or prescription medications known to combat overactive neutrophils, making ginger a potential complementary treatment option.
The team intends to conduct clinical trials involving patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and COVID-19, to further explore the benefits of ginger in these conditions.
The study’s findings were published on September 22 in JCI Insight.
For more information, visit the US National Institutes of Health‘s website on autoimmune diseases.
Source: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, news release, September 22, 2023.