Bringing out the Big Guns
Hey folks its the Power Nutrition Guru coming at you once again with the third installment on my ginger series. I have gotten tons of positive response on this series so far and I am sure after this issue there will be plenty more chiming in. In this part I wanted to touch in on some of the more serious diseases and ailments that ginger can help prevent and manage. I am going to give you some insight on how ginger can shed some positive light on two of the biggest killers in the world. That is cardiovascular disease and Cancer. Since these are such sensitive topics and most likely have hit home to just about everyone reading this, I am sure you will take interest in all that ginger has to offer for these two very destructive diseases.
#5 Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
- Now cardiovascular disease is something that all powerlifters should be concerned about
- You see not only does it affect the general sedentary population, but it also is one of the top three issues many powerlifters deal with in large numbers
- Yes its true that powerlifters are not sedentary couch potatoes, but the fact remains that many still do not live the ideal health model when it comes to food and lifestyle choices
- This is why you all need to listen up to the many health benefits ginger can have on your heart
- In the Journal of Nutrition May 2000 issue, they published a study that brought many of ginger's cardiovascular benefits to the mainstream public
- Israeli researchers wanted to look into the effects of ginger extract and its relation to atherosclerosis
- They divided mice into three categories. The first group received a placebo. The second received 25mcg of ginger extract daily. The third group received 250mcg of ginger daily
- The study showed that the mice in the third group who received 250mcg of ginger extract daily, had the most positive health benefits over the placebo group.
- Let's take a look at the results because the proof is in the pudding
- Their reduction in LDL or “Bad Cholesterol” was down by 33%
- Their reduction in VLDL cholesterol was down by a whopping 53%
- Their plasma triglycerides went down by 27%
- Their aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas were reduced by 44%
- But the most important factor researchers were excited about was the fact that they found the mice had reduced LDL aggregation and oxidation
- The reason why this is so important even though it may just sound like some scientific mumbo jumbo to you, is the fact that oxidative damage of your LDL cholesterol contributes significantly to the creation of atherosclerosis
- These researchers concluded that the phenolic antioxidants that are contained in ginger can actually slow down the process of developing atherosclerosis in the first place
- In another study rats were given ginger in different doses over a 4 week period
- One group was given 50mg/kg and the other a significantly higher dose of 500mg/kg
- The rats that were fed the higher dose of ginger daily had a major reduction in their cholesterol level and blood clotting abilities
- Even better was the fact that they had a decrease in inflammation blood markers.
- These results proved that ginger when taken in proper amounts, can help reduce bad cholesterol levels
- They also found that ginger helps thin the blood to help prevent clotting issues as well as reduce inflammation in the body
- We all know studies done on rats are beneficial but at the same time it is much better when you can see what actually goes on in a human setting
- One study that took place consisted of 40 people with mixed health variables. They took 20 of them who were healthy, and the other 20 were known for having cardiovascular disease
- They were then divided into equal groups to see how this would actually play out for both sectors
- One group was given a placebo, while the other consumed five grams of ginger powder on a daily basis
- Once again at the end of the month long study, ginger seems to shine and prove its worth
- The healthy people who consumed the ginger had close to a 20% decrease in lipoprotein oxidation, and those with a history of heart disease even fared better with close to a 25% decrease
- This goes to show you that no matter if you are in a healthy state or in a diseased state, ginger can work wonders on preventing disease from taking hold in the first place
#6 Anti-Cancer Benefits
- Now like I mentioned earlier I was going to bring out the big guns in this issue because heart disease and Cancer are two of the biggest killers
- So now that you know ginger can have some really good benefits for your heart health now is the time to look at what it can do to fight off Cancer
- Now for all the aging male powerlifters out there listen up. Prostate Cancer is something we all need to worry about after the age of 40
- In 2016 it is estimated that more than 180,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate Cancer
- More than 26,000 of these cases will result in death
- The good news is that ginger helps to provide some hope in this area
- In the British Journal of Nutrition an interesting study was published in reference to prostate Cancer and gingers abilities to fight against it
- They gave men 100mg of ginger extract per kilogram of weight.
- They found that the ginger extract destroyed these human prostate Cancer cells while leaving the healthy prostate cells untouched
- In this 8 week study, those who took the ginger extract had their prostate tumor growth reduced by 50%
- After reading this it makes me want to go and make myself a nice hot cup of ginger tea
- Now for all my Power Vixens reading this listen up I have some good news for you also
- Ovarian Cancer is one of those killers that all women should be concerned with since more than 20,000 women every year in America are diagnosed with this condition
- The sad part is that 15,000 of those diagnosed will die from this condition
- A mind blowing study performed by researchers from the University of Michigan Cancer Center has shown more positive info on ginger and its abilities to fight ovarian Cancer
- When they applied a solution of standardized ginger powder and water to ovarian Cancer cells something amazing happened
- After numerous tests they found that Cancer cells died every time as result of being in contact with the ginger solution
- This death of the Cancer cells was by Autophagy (the cells attack themselves) or by Apoptosis (where they commit suicide)
- The researchers concluded that ginger not only can destroy Cancer cells, but also prevents these same nasty cells from building up a resistance to different forms of Cancer treatments
- Ok Power Vixens there is even more good news in terms of ginger and Cancer so pay attention
- It is estimated that in 2016 close to 250,000 new cases of breast Cancer will be discovered in the United States
- Close to 41,000 of these new cases diagnosed will die from this condition
- A new study conducted at the Biological Sciences Department at the King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia has shown some very interesting things that all women should take note of
- Researchers exposed breast Cancer cells in the lab to ginger extract and they found it caused selective cytotoxicity
- What this means in meat head lingo is that the ginger inhibited the reproduction of the Cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells untouched
- Another study took place that backs up these same findings as the one performed in Saudi Arabia
- In the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, researchers found that the ginger extract stopped the proliferation of Cancer cells, without attacking normal cells
- It is believed that ginger may inhibit breast tumorigenesis as well as tumor growth
- In 2015 a mind blowing study published in the journal PLOS ONE showed just how powerful ginger is in the fight against breast Cancer and some of the reasons why it does it so effectively
- They found that one compound in ginger known as “6-Shogaol” has potent anti Cancer stem cell properties
- The reason why this is so important is the fact that Cancer stem cells are one of the main issues in producing effective therapies as well as their ability to promote tumor relapse
- To make things even worse is the fact that many chemotherapy drugs have a hard time destroying these Cancer stem cells
- In fact these Cancer stem cells are resistant to several of the main chemotherapy drugs including Paclitaxel, 5-Fluorouracil, and Doxorubicin
- This is why the researchers were up in arms when they found that ginger shows promise in relation to destroying these Cancer stem cells
- At the end of the study the researchers came to many important conclusions in relation to why ginger's isolated compounds can strategically work magic at nipping Cancer in the bud
- So let's take a look at what they discovered
- First off “6-Shagoal” disrupts the cell cycle leading to Cancer cell death
- It causes this cell death mostly due to autophagy (the cells attack themselves), and second in line would be due to apoptosis (where they commit suicide)
- It also reduces the expression of CD44/CD24 Cancer stem cell surface markers in breast cancer spheroids
- I know this is getting a little over the top for many so let me explain. Spheroids (not steroids...lol) are tumor cells growing in a 3-dimensional structure
- To make this even better “6-Shagoal” has been found to inhibit these spheroid formations by changing Notch signaling pathway through Y-Secretase inhibition
- Lastly its cytoxicity (its ability to kill Cancerous cells) against both monolayer (1-Dimensional) and spheroid (3-Dimensional) Cancer models
- With these latest findings you can see that ginger has a lot to offer for many forms of Cancer that affect women
- Now another form of Cancer that affects both men and women in abundance is that of the colon
- It is the third most common form of Cancer and the second most deadly so its no joke
- In the United States close to 145,000 people are diagnosed each year with colorectal Cancer
- Approximately 90% of those diagnosed are over the age of 50
- In fact one favorite mantra of nutritionists all over the world is, “All Disease Starts in the Colon”
- In the Journal of Clinical Oncology they published some key info on ginger and its role in fighting colon Cancer
- They found that subjects that consumed ginger had a decrease in harmful inflammatory prostaglandins in the colon with no toxic effects
- They were given 2 grams of ginger extract daily for 28 days
- They concluded that ginger's Gingerols and Shogaol's powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory activities are the main reason behind these benefits
- In another study conducted at the University of Minnesota's Hormel Institute, researchers found similar results
- They concluded that 6-Gingerol was responsible for the slower rates of Cancer growth in mice that were injected with human colorectal tumor cells into their flanks
- The mice were given 0.5-20mg of 6-Gingerol, three times per week
- They found those that were supplemented with this compound had reduced number of tumors as well reduced in size when compared to the control group
- This study showed that this amazing compound can slow the growth of Cancer tumors in the colon or even prevent them
When it comes to all forms of Cancer, someone you love or care about has or will be affected by this horrible disease. If you were to just go through your friends and family and count on your hand how many people that have suffered from Cancer, you will see just how common it is. As I have mentioned time and time again in my columns, prevention is the best medicine. This is why I have always recommended that you consume nutrient dense super foods as well as those that have anti-Cancer properties in abundance.
We live in a society where everything is polluted with carcinogenic compounds. No matter if it is the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the soaps and cosmetics we rub on our skin, or the many lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis, they can all contribute to being diagnosed with Cancer in our lifetime. This is why we must do our best to prevent it on as many different levels as we possibly can. So with the closing of this third installment, I hope that I will motivate you to start including more ginger into your health regiment in both food or supplement forms. As you can see ginger has way too many health benefits to simply leave it out of your cart the next time you hit the grocery store. Until next time train hard, eat clean, and warm your body up from this cold winter day with a nice hot cup of ginger tea.
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Thomson, M et al. “The use of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) as a potential anti- inflammatory and antithrombotic agent.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2002 Dec;67(6):475-8.
Fuhrman, B et al. “Ginger extract consumption reduces plasma cholesterol, inhibits LDL cholesterol oxidation and attenuates development of atherosclerosis in artherosclerotic, apolipoprotein E-deficient mice.” J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5):1124-31.
Verma, SK et al. “Antioxidant property of ginger in patients with coronary artery disease.” South Asian J Prev Cardiology. 2004;8(4).
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