It’s no secret that ginger packs a punch of flavor and is incredibly beneficial to your health.
You’ve probably heard that ginger can help you get over a cold, cure nausea and heal an upset stomach, but that’s just the beginning.
Currently, there are about 27 million type 2 diabetics in the U.S. Another 86 million have prediabetes (1).
People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. This is called insulin resistance.
Most diabetics rely on insulin and medication, but these can have many negative effects over time. However, research is showing that ginger may hold the key to managing symptoms of diabetes without any side effects.
An in-depth study, entitled “The effect of ginger consumption of glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,” was recently published in Diabetes Care, the official journal of the American Diabetes Association (2).
The double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial enrolled 70 type 2 diabetic patients. They were given 1600 mg (equivalent to ¼ teaspoon) of ginger daily for weeks, separated into two doses of 800mg taken orally at different times during the day. They also underwent various tests to measure their health before and after the study.
At the end of the 12 weeks, ginger had reduced fasting plasma glucose, HbA1C (a measurement of how much damage is being caused by sugars to red blood cells in the body), insulin, HOMA (measure of insulin resistance and pancreatic cell function), triglyceride , total cholesterol and CRP & PGE2 (inflammation markers) significantly compared with placebo group.
The researchers concluded:
“Ginger improved insulin sensitivity and some fractions of lipid profile, and reduced CRP and PGE2 in type 2 diabetic patients. Therefore ginger can be considered as an effective treatment for prevention of diabetes complications.”
In a study by the the University of Sydney, researchers had found that extracts from Buderim Ginger could increase uptake of glucose by cells without the need of insulin.
“This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin,” said Professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, Basil Roufogalis, lead author of the study.
“The components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols, the major phenolic components of the ginger rhizome,” said Professor Roufogalis. (source)
In another small double-blinded study, 88 subjects with type 2 diabetes were divided into a group given a placebo or three one gram capsules of ginger daily for 8 weeks. The authors concluded that ginger may be helpful in reducing fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (3).
HOW TO USE GINGER
The study used dried powdered ginger held in capsules, so you can also take chopped fresh ginger or make ginger juice. If you can’t stand the taste, hide it in a smothie
If you’re going to start taking ginger regularly, talk to your doctor or naturopath. The root can slow blood clotting and should not be mixed with other anti-clotting medication (4).