Monday, 25 May 2009

ginger causes cancer cells to "commit suicide"? evil chuckle...

Monday, 25 May 2009

This post has been prompted by my friend Tracey's post about how ginger can help prevent nausea in chemo patients. Luckily for me, half a glass of red wine a night [all I could stomach] worked very well in that regard ;o)

But I have been researching the effect of ginger on ovarian cancer on the internet [as ya do!!], and ages ago I found an interesting article [it was old] about how ginger attacks cancer cells, and how [ha!! The little beasts!!] it can make them commit suicide. Imagine! Must be the only creature in the world that people will be hysterically laughing as they watch them die.

But, gloating about the death of cancer cells aside, I recently found a new article about ginger and cancer. In the interim, I have been taking 'one a day' ginger capsules from Boots, and I have ginger in my diet whenever it is sensible.

No, I don't have ginger on my cereal in the mornings…but I have found lots of great sauces full of ginger and chilli for example. I am not a faddy eater, and I do not think that a 'special' diet [what are all those books about?? Pah!] will cure or prevent cancer - but ginger does seem to have it's upside, so adding it to my normal intake is no problem, as I love it anyway.

Here's the most up to date article I have seen:

How does ginger fight cancer?
by Sarah Siddons

Scientists are hoping that ginger might prove helpful in the fight against ovarian cancer. When you were young, ginger ale may have been a popular choice for quelling your upset stomach on a day home from school. For years, ginger has been used to combat nausea - but did you know it's now also being looked at to combat cancer?

In research on tumor-bearing mice, scientists discovered that ginger can kill cancerous cells in two different ways. In the first way, apoptosis, the ginger causes the cancer cells to "commit suicide" by destroying themselves while leaving the surrounding healthy cells untouched. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger prevent precancerous tumors from creating the perfect breeding ground and climate for growth [source:
Rossiter]. In the second way, autophagy, ginger tricks the cancerous cells into eating themselves [source: Huebeck].
Research is now looking into one of the toughest cancers to fight - ovarian cancer. Repeated chemotherapy can actually lose its effectiveness over time as the cancer builds a resistance to the repetitive treatment. Because ginger can work two ways, researchers are hoping that it would help deter resistance from the cancer [source:

In another study of mice, those that were given ginger had distinctly impeded human cancer growth [source:
DeNoon]. The bad news is that such promising research has only been conducted on mice. The good news, however, is that it would seem that humans might be able to get the same benefit just by eating products with ginger and ginger root in them, and it doesn't take much to get to the equivalent levels used in previous studies.

Cancer prevention and fighting abilities aren't the only potential benefits you may get from adding a bit more ginger to your diet. Read on to discover a few other unexpected benefits you might gain from that extra glass of ginger ale.

Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger Foods Help Themselves ...

Though a pill supplement would likely be most widely used if ginger was shown to work as well against cancer as hoped, you can still get all of ginger's suspected benefits just by ingesting it in your favorite foods. Foods like ginger bread, ginger snaps and ginger ale are all pretty popular. You might want to add even more ginger to these recipes, though. In addition, you can add ginger as a spice to soups, stews and marinades. Not only will you be protected, but your food will be too -- foods that are susceptible to bacteria after being prepared and then sitting for a while (think chicken or potato salad) may have their bacterial growth reduced by the presence of ginger [source: Bob].

Sipping on that ginger ale when your stomach was upset as a child wasn't just a placebo -- numerous studies and research, including the Mayo Clinic's strict grading system, agree that ginger has some sort of anti-nausea properties.

Some believe that ginger works well against postoperative, or after-surgery nausea, while others swear by it to reduce motion sickness. The Mayo Clinic, however, advises the use of ginger only to reduce nausea -- and vomiting -- during pregnancy. While more research needs to be done, early studies are very promising, especially in that short doses don't seem to do any harm to the mother or baby [source: Mayo Clinic]. Longer doses may cause problems, so, as with any medication or supplement, you should seek medical advice before beginning treatment.

Other health benefits from ginger exist as well. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger prevent precancerous tumors from creating the perfect breeding ground and climate for growth [source:
Rossiter]. In the second way, autophagy, ginger tricks the cancerous cells into eating themselves [source: Huebeck ]

No matter your treatment, you should always consult a doctor before starting, even with something like ginger that seems to have little to no side effects.

So!! Ginger biscuits? Bring 'em on!!!

1 comment:

  1. We have become ginger holics i think hahaha
    Great read Sandhy... now wheres my ginger beer gone x


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