If your only exposure to ginger has been ginger ale or ginger snaps, you may be interested in knowing that ginger has some qualities that may help in the management of prostate cancer. A new study finds that ginger (Zingiber officinale roscoe) has been effective in hindering the reproductive and growth activities of prostate cancer cells.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have been studied in the management of other health conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and nausea, especially when associated with chemotherapy. In the realm of cancer, however, little research has been done.
Ginger may help manage prostate cancer
This study evaluated the effect of whole ginger extract in mice given human prostate cancer xenografts (the transplantation of cells from one species to another). When the mice were fed whole ginger extract, growth and progression of the prostate cancer xenografts declined by about 56 percent when compared with mice not given ginger. The ginger extract did not cause any toxicity in the animals.
The study’s authors noted that they believe theirs is the first study to show anticancer activity of whole ginger extract for management of prostate cancer. Naturally, these results are very preliminary, but they do suggest ginger may have a role in managing prostate cancer. Further research is necessary to investigate the possible use of ginger in the management of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
Funk JL et al. Comparative effects of two gingerol-containing Zingiber officinale extracts on experimental rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Natural Products 2009 Ma 27; 72(3): 403-7
Karna P et al. Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer. British Journal of Nutrition 2011 Aug 18: 1-12
Ryan JL: Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients. Supportive Care in Cancer 2012 Jul; 20(7): 1479-89