The pancreas is part of the digestive system and plays an important role in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. Pancreatic cancer will usually result in dietary-related symptoms, which can include appetite changes, weight loss and changes in bowel habits. Some people may also develop diabetes and you will be monitored for this as part of your care.
Based on several recent studies, ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and contains compounds shown to cause cancer cells to commit suicide (apoptosis), making it a potentially effective weapon against cancer.
It is also considered as one of the most powerful prevention tools for the people in risk groups, taking care over the digestive system periodic maintenance.
Gingerol, a natural component of the herb ginger, inhibits cell growth and induces cell death in human pancreatic cancer cells, according to Korean researchers reporting their study results in Yonsei Medical Journal.
Researchers noted that “gingerol, a major phenolic compound derived from ginger, has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities. While several molecular mechanisms have been described to underlie its effects on cells in vitro and in vivo, the underlying mechanisms by which gingerol exerts anti-tumorigenic effects are largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the action of gingerol on two human pancreatic cancer cell lines.”
The scientists incubated the two separate pancreatic cancer cell lines with varying concentrations of gingerol for different durations. They found that cell growth was inhibited in direct relation to the dose and duration of gingerol application. Gingerol interfered with the cell-growth cycle in both cell lines and hastened cell death in one of the cell lines.
Most important, gingerol killed cancer cells that carry a mutation in a gene known as p53, which is mutated in more than half of human cancers and can contribute to resistance to radiation and chemotherapy. In view of its beneficial effects, gingerol may eventually be used to facilitate tumor response to treatments for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic carcinoma is one common cancer with gradually increasing incidence during the past several decades. However, currently the candidate drugs to suppress pancreatic cancer remain lacking. The Chinese scientific research was carried out to investigate if zerumbone, a natural cyclic sesquiterpene isolated from Ginger root, will produce the anticancer effects on pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. Researchers found that zerumbone was able to induce apoptosis of pancreatic carcinoma cell lines, indicating to be a promising treatment for pancreatic cancer. The results were published 2012 in Evid Based Complement Alternative Med. Journal.
The similar promising results were recently found in treatments of breast, ovarian, colon, and lung cancers.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute found that gingerols, the phytonutrients in ginger, may help inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells. The study, presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in 2003, indicated that ginger’s compounds may work as “effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal carcinomas.”
A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in 2006 found ginger to be effective against prostate and ovarian cancer, too. The research, conducted at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, showed that ginger kills cancer cells and also prevents them from building up resistance to cancer treatment. However, this was just a preliminary study; further research is still required for the same. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. Thus, ginger can be of great help for cancer patients, especially if they develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs because repeated chemotherapy can reduce its effectiveness. Plus, it presents no side effects. However, the amount of ginger that should be consumed to gain these benefits has not been determined as it has not been tested on human subjects as yet.
Researchers at Georgia State University also found that ginger can be helpful in fighting prostate cancer. Their study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that whole ginger extract can help shrink prostate tumor size by as much as 56% in mice.
Researchers at the Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, studied the impacts of crude extracts of ginger on growth of breast cancer cell lines. They found that ginger inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells, without significantly impacting the viability of non-tumor breast cells. The researchers concluded: “Ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas.”
Other Health Benefits of Ginger
* Diabetes Prevention: Studies have shown that diabetes may be both prevented and treated, along with the related abilities to lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood fats.
* Antibiotic: Ginger’s antibiotic effects may be exceptional. At least one study that compares the effects of ginger and antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus and S. pyreus infections shows that ginger extract may be superior. The effects on drug-resistant infections are, as yet, unknown. Ginger has been shown to have an antibacterial effect on respiratory and periodontal infections.
* Antifungal: Fungal infections are among the most difficult to treat, and drug-resistant fungi have been developing. However, there’s no need to despair, as ginger has been found to have antifungal capability, including to drug-resistant forms.
* Ulcers: Intestinal ulcers can be prevented with ginger. There is a generally recognized acceptance now that the Helico pylori bacterium is associated with ulcers, and at least one study has shown that a derivative of ginger has been shown to inhibit H. pylori. One study has demonstrated that ginger can inhibit existing ulcers, too.
* Diabetes Complications: Complications of diabetes may be limited by ginger. Studies have shown that it may reduce urine protein levels, decrease water intake and urine output, and reverse proteinuria. It’s been shown to aldose reductase inhibitors, which reduce damage done by diabetes. Ginger can protect nerves in diabetes and lower blood fat levels.
* Inflammation: Inflammation is a serious problem with many chronic conditions, both in terms of causing them and causing pain, and ginger can be highly effective in managing it. Neurodegenerative diseases may be aided by ginger’s ability to inhibit nitrous oxide production and proinflammatory cytokines. Its antiinflammatory ability may be helpful in arthritis, cancer prevention, prostate disease, and general inflammatory processes.
* Gastric Distress: Ginger’s ability to ease gastric distress is superior, and it does more than simply ease pain. In a double-blind study, ginger capsules were taken orally in people suffering from dyspepsia with slow emptying of the stomach’s contents. It stimulated the emptying of the stomach without any negative effects. It has been found to have an antispasmodic agent, which helps explain some of its beneficial effects on the intestinal tract. As previously stated, it inhibits H. pylori, which helps prevent ulcers. It also protects gastric mucosa.
* Toxicity: Ginger helps prevent the toxic effects of a wide array of substances, including the pesticide lindane, a cancer drug, the chemical bromobenzene, and the excitotoxin monosodium glutamate (MSG). Lindane was shown to modulate oxidative stress in rats exposed to the pesticide lindane, a neurotoxin, simply by adding it to their diet. The cancer drug doxorubicin damages kidneys, but ginger has been shown to help alleviate the harm. Brombozene is highly toxic, used in chemical reactions, and can rapidly damage the liver and nervous system. Ginger has been shown to alleviate its liver damage. Ginger extract has been shown to protect against MSG nerve damage.
* Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (Fructose Damage): Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NFLD) has a variety of causes, but it’s now on the increase because of the prevalence of fructose as a sweetener. Research on ginger’s function with regard to NFLD is in the very early stages. However, NFLD is known to be associated with dyslipidemia and excess triglycerides in the liver. Ginger may help this condition by lowering serum cholesterol. Research showing this is very new, published just this year, so it’s hardly definitive. However, ginger does appear to hold promise as a treatment for NFLD.
* Menstrual Pain: A double blind study of young women suffering from menstrual pain compared with mefenamic acid (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory marketed as Ponstel), ibuprofen, ginger powder in capsules, and placebo was performed. Ginger was found to be as effective as both mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
* Radiation: With radiation in the news lately, it’s wonderful to learn that ginger has been proven to provide significant benefit against it. One study has demonstrated that it can help prevent vomiting and taste distortion associated with radiation poisoning. Another study administered high doses of ginger extract to mice before their exposure to gamma radiation, and compared them to mice that had received only distilled water before exposure. It reduced the severity of symptoms and mortality. They were protected from gastrointestinal and bone-marrow-related deaths. It’s interesting to note that treatment after exposure provided no benefit.
* Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Knee Osteoarthritis, and Indomethacin: Indomethacin is an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to treat the pain from inflammation of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis of the knee. Studies comparing the effect of ginger extract with indomethacin consistently show that ginger is, at a minimum, just as effective, and sometimes even more than indomethacin. Since indomethacin’s adverse effects include renal insufficiency in 40% of the people who take it, jaundice in 10%, headaches in 12%, and elevations in liver function tests indicating harm to the liver, plus a host of other nasty problems, it’s difficult to imagine any legitimate reason for doctors prescribing the drug when they could simply have their patients take ginger extract.
* Nausea and Motion Sickness: Ginger has been well studied for its classic ability to ease nausea in all sorts of situations. It has long been used for motion and sea sickness. Studies have been done both to ascertain whether it’s effective—which, of course, it is—and also to try to figure out how it works. Morning sickness, nausea, during pregnancy causes misery for a lot of women. Women suffering from morning sickness were given beverages with ginger during the first trimester of pregnancy and compared with women given placebo. Ginger alleviated the nausea in a highly significant percentage of the women. A trial of taking ginger and protein after chemotherapy demonstrated that patients were able to lessen their intake of anti-emetic medications.
* Bacterial Diarrhea: The primary cause of death in young children in developing countries is bacterial-induced diarrhea. The bacteria don’t cause it directly. The toxins they release do. Zingerone, a compound found in ginger, binds the toxin so that it cannot interact with the gut, thus preventing diarrhea and the resultant death. The standard treatment now is antibiotics coupled with electrolyte replacement, which would indicate that the antibiotics are not particularly effective. Since the long term effects of antibiotics are now known to be disastrous and antibiotics are expensive, it’s hard to imagine a legitimate reason for not implementing large-scale trials of ginger on children suffering from bacterial diarrhea.
Ginger vs. Pharmaceutical Drug Therapy
According to scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs are more likely to harm the patient than safe them. The following statement from researcher Dr. Raghu Kallur sums up the dangers of the standard medical protocols for patients: “Whatever manipulations we’re doing to tumors can inadvertently do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what, kills patients at the end of the day.”
Therefore, finding ways to incorporate ginger into your diet may be a lifesaver, the myth that only standard treatment can directly affect the outcome of cancers progression can be considered as outdated. Ginger is recognized for its antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has a high concentration of active substances, which means you don’t have to use a large amount to receive its beneficial effects; all it takes is one or two ½ inch slices of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water for relief of stomach ailments.
Adding some fresh ginger to some of your recipe means getting more than flavor; it will assist with digestion, detoxifying and most importantly cellular health.
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