A recent study has unveiled the potential benefits of ginger supplements for individuals dealing with autoimmune diseases, particularly in managing inflammation. Researchers focused on the impact of ginger supplementation on a specific type of white blood cell called neutrophils, with a special emphasis on neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, also known as NETosis, and its implications for inflammation control.
NETs contribute to inflammation and clotting
According to the findings published in the journal JCI Insight, ginger consumption by healthy individuals was observed to enhance the resilience of their neutrophils against NETosis. This is significant because NETs are minuscule, web-like structures that contribute to inflammation and clotting, both of which are associated with numerous autoimmune diseases like lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Kristen Demoruelle, senior co-author of the study and MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the US, remarked, “There are many diseases where neutrophils are excessively active. We found that ginger can help curb NETosis, and this is crucial because it offers a natural supplement that may assist in alleviating inflammation and symptoms in people with various autoimmune conditions.”
During the clinical trial, researchers discovered that daily ginger supplement intake over seven days (20 mg of gingerols/day) by healthy volunteers increased the levels of a chemical called cAMP within neutrophils. Elevated cAMP levels subsequently inhibited NETosis in response to various disease-related triggers.
Jason Knight, senior co-author of the study and MD, PhD, associate professor at the University of Michigan, stated, “Our research, for the first time, provides evidence for the biological mechanism behind ginger’s apparent anti-inflammatory properties in individuals.”
The researchers anticipate that offering more evidence regarding ginger’s advantages, including the specific mechanism by which ginger affects neutrophils, it may prompt discussions between healthcare providers and patients about the potential benefits of incorporating ginger supplements into their treatment plans.
“We believe that ginger could be a valuable complement to ongoing treatment regimens. The aim is to be more precise and individualized in helping alleviate people’s symptoms,” noted Knight.