Ginger could play a pivotal role in controlling inflammation for individuals with autoimmune diseases, a recent study suggests.
Researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado School of Medicine examined the effects of ginger supplements on a type of white blood cell known as the neutrophil.
Their findings hint that ginger supplements might even assist in treating individuals with COVID.
Ginger: A Potential Key in Autoimmune Disease Control
The team behind the study, released in the journal JCI Insight on September 22, was particularly intrigued by an immune response termed neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation.
Also referred to as NETosis, it’s associated with the inflammation that can initiate autoimmune diseases.
NETs are microscopic, web-like structures that drive inflammation and clotting, contributing to numerous autoimmune diseases — including lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers pointed out.
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They observed that ginger consumption in healthy individuals makes their neutrophils — a type of white blood cell that combats infections and heals wounds — more resistant to NETosis.
Senior author Kristen Demoruelle, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, noted that in many ailments, neutrophils are abnormally hyperactive.
“We found that ginger can help to restrain NETosis… It’s a natural supplement that might be beneficial in treating inflammation and symptoms for people with several different autoimmune diseases,” she commented, as cited in the published study.
In a clinical trial, the research group discovered that among healthy participants, a daily intake of a ginger supplement for seven days — at 20 milligrams per day — elevated a chemical inside the neutrophil called cAMP.
High levels of cAMP subsequently inhibited NETosis in response to various disease-related stimuli.
“Our research, for the first time, provides evidence for the biological mechanism underlying ginger’s apparent anti-inflammatory properties in people,” Professor Jason Knight of the University of Michigan, a senior co-author of the study, stated, as reported by SWNS.
Many individuals with inflammatory conditions are likely to inquire with their physician about the potential advantages of natural supplements — or they might already be taking supplements, such as ginger, to manage symptoms, the researchers mentioned.
The team hopes that by presenting more evidence of ginger’s benefits, it will motivate health care providers and patients to strategically discuss its use to mitigate disease.
“There aren’t many natural supplements — or prescription drugs, for that matter — known to combat overactive neutrophils,” Knight remarked, as noted by SWNS.
He added, “The aim is to be more strategic and personalized in terms of helping alleviate people’s symptoms.”
The research team aspires to leverage the study to secure funding for clinical trials of ginger in patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases where neutrophils are hyperactive, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome, and even COVID.
With information from Fox News