Ginger may help reduce inflammation in autoimmune diseases.

Ginger may help reduce inflammation in autoimmune diseases.

The Healing Power of Ginger Supplements for Autoimmune Diseases

Ginger, a flavorful and aromatic spice often used in culinary dishes and traditional medicine, has been found to have significant potential in the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research has shed light on the remarkable impact ginger supplements can have on controlling inflammation and improving white blood cell function.

One particular type of white blood cell, called neutrophils, plays a crucial role in inflammation. A research study has indicated that ginger can enhance the resistance of neutrophils to a process known as neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation or NETosis, which is responsible for the propagation of inflammation and clotting associated with autoimmune diseases. The study suggests that ginger may help restrain NETosis, providing a natural supplement option for individuals suffering from diverse autoimmune conditions.

Dr. Kristen Demoruelle, senior co-author of the study and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, states, “There are a lot of diseases where neutrophils are abnormally overactive. We found that ginger can help to restrain NETosis, and this is important because it is a natural supplement that may be helpful to treat inflammation and symptoms for people with several different autoimmune diseases.”

In a clinical trial involving healthy volunteers, it was discovered that a week of daily intake of 20 mg of gingerols, the active compounds found in ginger, increased the levels of a chemical called cAMP inside neutrophils. The heightened cAMP levels subsequently inhibited the response of NETosis to diseases. This groundbreaking research provides concrete evidence of the biological mechanism underlying ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties in humans.

The findings of this study have significant implications for healthcare providers and patients alike. The researchers hope that the evidence highlighting ginger’s impact on neutrophils will encourage discussions between healthcare providers and patients regarding the potential benefits of incorporating ginger supplements into existing treatment plans. Ginger offers a unique advantage as there are few natural supplements or prescription medications known to target overactive neutrophils.

Dr. Jason Knight, senior co-author and associate professor in the division of rheumatology at the University of Michigan, emphasizes the value of ginger as a complementary treatment option, stating, “We, therefore, think ginger may have a real ability to complement treatment programs that are already underway. The goal is to be more strategic and personalized in terms of helping to relieve people’s symptoms.”

Moving forward, the research team intends to conduct clinical trials involving patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and even COVID-19. These trials will provide further insights into the efficacy of ginger supplements in alleviating symptoms and improving the overall well-being of individuals suffering from these conditions.

The study, published on September 22 in JCI Insight, signifies an important step toward unlocking the full potential of ginger in the field of autoimmune disease treatment. It offers hope for millions of individuals worldwide who struggle with the chronic pain and inflammation associated with these debilitating conditions.

Conclusion: Ginger supplements have emerged as a promising natural remedy for autoimmune diseases, particularly lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The ability of ginger to control inflammation by restraining NETosis in neutrophils demonstrates its potential to provide relief from symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals battling these conditions. Not only does ginger offer a unique and natural alternative to traditional medications, but it also presents an opportunity for a more personalized and strategic approach to treatment. As research continues to unfold, ginger may become an indispensable tool in the fight against autoimmune diseases, offering hope and healing to countless individuals worldwide.

More information The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on autoimmune diseases.

SOURCE: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, news release, Sept. 22, 2023

QUESTION: Lupus is an infection. See Answer.