Ginger has long been used as a remedy for treating various diseases due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. A recent study found that a compound in Ginger may also help to prevent prostate cancer.
According to a study conducted by Ritu Aneja, Professor of Biology at Georgia State University, ginger extract had a significant effect in stopping cancer cell growth as well as induces cell death in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells.
Despite much research has been conducted to determine the anti-cancer properties in ginger, Aneja’s lab prefer to take a more holistic approach in investigating the types of molecules involved.
She does not believe that individual compound are solely responsible for the extract’s anti-cancer properties and consider it to be a synergistic interplay of components, allowing scientists to use a smaller amount of extract instead of using a single chemical substance. Data evaluation shows that humans should consume about 3.5 ounces of ginger extract per day to achieve the beneficial effects.
“Although it may seem easy to examine extracts of plants, but the reality is not so because there are zillions of compounds and other complex derivatives in there, and we do not know which ones are the good ones. In addition, the compounds we are seeking to identify may be low in abundance, but they may be very important and can not be ignored, “said Prof. Aneja as quoted from medicalnewstoday.
The research was started by Vibhuti ‘Simran’ Sharma, an environmental chemist for the Southern Company as well as one of Aneja’s numerous undergraduate research students she mentored.
“I did a lot of background research and found some published papers on ginger, but there’s not much research on the ginger extract, especially its effect on the prevention of prostate cancer. Most of the literature focused on only one compounds found in ginger,” said Sharma.
In the experiments, Sharma found that cells that are most responsive to the ginger extract were breast, cervical and prostate cancer cells. Aneja’s lab took the research further in prostate cancer and Sharma continues to assist in Aneja’s lab with the production of more whole ginger extract for further fractionation and ongoing efficacy studies.