Archives of General Internal Medicine

Mini Review - Archives of General Internal Medicine (2018) Volume 2, Issue 2

Ginger and Diabetes: A Mini-Review.

Background: Ginger is one of the most well liked spices in the world. In more recent times interest has shifted towards possible effects of ginger on cancer, blood clotting, inflammation and pain. However, lesser attention has been given to metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Animal studies and human trials have shown promising results.

Methods: A comprehensive search was made in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) and The University of Linköping’s electronic research database (www.bibl.liu.se.e.bibl.liu.se/?l=sv). The goal was to gather information about human research on the topic ginger and diabetes mellitus in randomized and/or controlled clinical trials or meta-analyses in order to review the scientific evidence. The following search terms were used in various combinations: Diabetes; Glucose; Insulin; Cardiovascular; Ginger; Zingiber Officinale; Meta-analysis; Randomized; Controlled; Clinical Trial.

Results: The PubMed search yielded several randomized and/or controlled clinical trials on the topic of the effects of ginger on diabetes mellitus or diabetes-related measurements such as glucose or insulin or lipids. The search also yielded four meta-analyses. The individual clinical trials found had already been included in the four meta-analyses, except for one trial that was published after the last inclusion date in the most recent meta-analysis. The meta-analyses all showed that ginger consumption could have profitable effects on glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with diabetes and other risk factors. In the clinical trials significant reductions in fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides were seen as well as an increase in HDL. Additionally, a trial published after the last inclusion date in the most recent metaanalysis also exhibited reductions in glucose and lipids in diabetics consuming ginger.

Conclusions: Current scientific research shows that ginger consumption can have a favorable impact on measurements of glucose and lipids in patients with diabetes. The results are as of now only applicable to Iranian and Indian populations and further trials are warranted in Western populations.

Author(s): Isak Lindstedt

Abstract Full Text PDF