Sunday, October 16, 2011

Study indicates ginger may be root of lower colon cancer rates in Asian diets

People who took ginger supplements showed reduced signs of inflammation in the colon compared to people who didn't take the supplements, researchers say.

The small study of 30 healthy adults was designed to see if studies in mice and rats that have shown ginger may prevent tumor development might also have similar cancer prevention properties in humans. The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, and was reported on by WebMD.
It has long been known that India and China and Japan have lower rates of colorectal cancer and they eat a similar amount of ginger on a daily basis, according to the study authors. They noted, however, that Asian diets also tend to contain much more vegetables and fiber and less red meat.

Led by Dr. Suzanna Zick, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, the researchers found that after taking the equivalent of two tablespoons of ground ginger for four weeks the levels of three chemicals in the blood associated with inflammation were significantly reduced compared to participants given placebo.

While the study is intriguing, colon cancer experts say its findings are preliminary and need to be confirmed in large randomized trials. 

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