Supplementing with ginger and curcumin (an ingredient in turmeric) can produce significant improvements in bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. However, taken individually, ginger and curcumin do not have such far-reaching effects.
The effectiveness and safety of ginger and curcumin supplementation in postmenopausal osteoporosis were evaluated in a recent randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The results are published in the “Journal of Herbal Medicine”.
Ginger and turmeric as medicinal plants
Ginger and turmeric show numerous promising effects as medicinal plants. For example, ginger can reduce inflammation in autoimmune diseases and has been shown to provide various other health benefits.
Turmeric has a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect and, according to recent research results, can also help with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, for example.
Effect on osteoporosis investigated
The new study examined the effect of medicinal plants against postmenopausal osteoporosis. 120 participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups who received either ginger plus a curcumin placebo, curcumin plus a ginger placebo, ginger plus curcumin or a ginger and a curcumin placebo for four months.
Effects on bone mineral density were determined using dual X-ray absorptiometry and osteocalcin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
In addition, the highly sensitive C-reactive protein, which is considered an important marker for inflammation, was recorded. A total of 115 patients completed the study protocol.
What benefits were noticeable?
The bone mineral density of the femoral neck increased significantly when taking ginger and curcumin placebo, curcumin and ginger placebo, and ginger and curcumin, with no significant differences between the groups, the researchers report.
The combined intake of ginger and curcumin also significantly reduced osteocalcin and ALP levels as well as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein compared to the group with two placebos and significantly increased total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase.
According to the researchers, no relevant undesirable side effects were found in any group.
Promising therapeutic option
According to the study results, combined consumption of ginger and curcumin can significantly improve various factors such as bone mineral density, osteocalcin and ALP levels, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and superoxide dismutase in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Dietary supplementation with ginger and curcumin appears to be a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. However, larger clinical studies with more participants are now required to clearly confirm the therapeutic benefit. (fp)