Taking ginger in the form of a dietary supplement can reduce inflammation in the presence of autoimmune diseases. This effect is due to the fact that ginger affects a special type of white blood cell called neutrophils.
A new study involving the University of Colorado examined how oral ingestion of ginger extract affected neutrophils in mice with autoimmune diseases and healthy humans. The results are published in the specialist journal “JCI Insight”.
What did taking ginger do in vitro?
The team reports that the specific soluble ginger supplement they used was able to attenuate neutrophil extracellular trapping (NET) in vitro.
NETs are microscopic, spider web-like structures that promote inflammation and blood clotting and contribute to many autoimmune diseases such as lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers explain.
Effects on mice with autoimmune diseases
When the drug was administered orally to mice with APS or lupus traits, it was associated with a reduction in circulating NETs and an attenuation of various disease symptoms, the team reports.
For example, fewer thrombosis of the large veins occurred in APS and the preparation had a positive effect on autoantibody production in lupus.
Effects on humans
In a clinical study of healthy human participants, taking a ginger preparation over a period of seven days led to an increase in a molecule called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) inside neutrophils, according to the researchers.
The high cAMP level then inhibited the so-called NETosis in response to various disease-relevant stimuli, explains the research team. NETosis is a special form of cell death that affects neutrophil granulocytes.
Ginger inhibits neutrophil hyperactivity
The study results show that ginger inhibits neutrophil hyperactivity in autoimmune mouse models and that consumption of ginger makes neutrophils more resistant to NETosis in healthy people, the experts summarize.
“Our research provides, for the first time, evidence of the biological mechanism underlying the apparent anti-inflammatory properties of ginger in humans,” explains study author Dr. Jason Knight in a press release.
Ginger helpful for people with autoimmune diseases
“There are many diseases in which the neutrophil granulocytes are abnormally overactive. “We found that ginger can help inhibit neutrophilia, and this is important because it is a natural supplement that may be helpful in treating inflammation and symptoms in people with various autoimmune diseases,” said study author Dr . Kristen Demoruelle.
Ginger inhibits inflammation and reduces oxidative stress
The fact that ginger inhibits inflammation and at the same time reduces oxidative stress was already found in an earlier evaluation of a total of 14 studies, which was published in the English-language journal “Journal of Herbal Medicine”.
The experts involved therefore believed that ginger supplementation can improve health status in adults by reducing inflammatory and oxidative stress markers. The new study confirms this and was able to identify the underlying biological mechanism for the first time. (as)