The Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences at the King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia conducted a research on the ginger plant (also known as Zingiber officinale) and observed that its extract can inhibit growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells. Unlike traditional anticancer treatment, normal cells are not affected in this process.
A recent research published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology indicated that ginger can be considered as an option for breast cancer treatment. Killing diseased cells without affecting normal cells is known as selective toxicity which is an advantage of natural remedies.
A short history of ginger
Use of Ginger dates back to ancient times when it was used in food to contribute taste and flavor. It was also used as a pain reliever. Its popularity is still the same throughout the world as a spicy food and an indigenous medicine. A lot of health benefits and healing effects have been established through research conducted from time to time.
Historically, it was used for the first time in southern China several thousand years back. Local people traded this food item to different parts of the world such as Asia, West Africa and Caribbean islands. India is the largest producer of ginger. It was also used in the ancient the Greek civilization around the 3rd century BC.
Ginger against breast cancer
It is of increasing concern that breast cancer still ranks number one among cancers in women and accounts for the majority of cancer deaths despite massive advancements in cancer prevention and treatment. Another bad news is, no available treatment option may work for breast cancer at some point. This is why scientists are looking for newer agents that can effectively eradicate both ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer cells with minimum injury to normal cells.
Although the anticancer effects of ginger have been scientifically established, the actual mechanism of action is unknown. More research needs to be conducted to understand its detailed properties. Inspired by the older scientific data and depending on the postulation that herbal extracts have more potency than purified components, the ginger extract was used in a study to see its effects on various types of breast cancer cells.
What’s inside Ginger
It has a unique potential for controlling several intracellular metabolic processes simultaneously such as-
- Programmed cell death or apoptosis
- Increasing the number and activity of some pro-apoptotic and anti-cancer genes like p21, Bax and CDK inhibitor
- Decreasing the activity and production of several cancer-promoting proteins and genes like Bcl-X, Mcl-1, CDK-4, C-Myc, Bcl-2, NF-kb, hTERT, etc.
Gingerol is a compound extracted from ginger which shows a promising result in suppressing breast cancer. Several studies conducted recently in well-known institutions support this fact.
It is not only effective against breast cancer, but various compounds of this natural remedy can be used effectively in several other malignancies like colon cancer, hepatoma, lung cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and skin cancer.
- Research: Ginger Selectively Kills Breast Cancer Cells
- The 10,000 Times Greater Efficacy Of Ginger Compared To Chemotherapy
- Ginger is recommended for breast cancer