Ginger is a herbal plant which has thick tuberous rhizome and has lots of benefits for human body including the effect to certain disease such as diabetes. Diabetes is one of disease which has been spread world wide and become an epidemic nowadays. People tend to suffer diabetes, most of them are type 2, because unhealthy lifestyle. Ginger is a perennial plant which has stem erect with 60 cm high measured from the rhizome. Ginger plant has elongated leave with 15 – 30 cm long and the rhizome has pungent and aromatic odor and taste.
The case of diabetes melitus prevalence is commonly high and it is rising everyday through worldwide. This increasing number of diabetes is caused by the global increasing number of unhealthy lifestyle and obesity. Study reported that 382 million people in the world suffer from diabetes in 2013 and the number will keep increase until it reaches 592 million numbers in 2035. Most case of diabetes or almost 85% people who suffer diabetes, are made up by the type 2 diabetes and the other 15% attributes to gestational diabetes and type 1
Type 2 diabetes is categorized as metabolic disorder which signed by hyperglycemia condition that caused by insulin resistance and low level of insulin. People with diabetes usually use some drugs to treat hyperglycemia condition such as sulfonylurea, thia-zolidinedione, incretin, and dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 which improve the secretion of insulin and reduce insulin resistance. Chemical drug have significant effect to the body but it also rise some side effect that may harm other organs such as kidney.
To minimize the side effect of any chemical drug, nowadays people makes other choice by taking herbal medication. Some herbal plant is believed having numerous health effect and can help to cure diabetes by their phytochemical including ginger.
Ginger contains a bunch of phytochemical which acts as active substance such as gingerol, zingerone, paradol and shogaols also other volatile oils such as sesquiterpenes, b-bisabolene, geranial, and neral. Ginger are commonly used in many cuisine especially Asian. In Japan, we know a pickled ginger named gari and in Korea, ginger also used as food seasoning for more than thousands years. This may be a reason why people in Asia tend to suffer less diabetes compared with western people, even we can find that western use ginger to make cookies.
Ginger Active Components
Ginger contains several bioactive components which is important to keep healthy body. Below are the list of ginger active components and its biological activities :
|Active compound of ginger||Biological activities|
|Gingerol and related compound||Antioxidant and Hepato-protective activity|
|Paradol||Anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous activity.|
|Shogoal||Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.|
|1-Dehydro-(10) gingerdione||Regulation of inflammatory genes.|
|Terpenoids||Induce Apoptosis by activation of p53.|
|Ginger flavonoids||Antioxidant activity|
Ginger benefits for diabetes
Ginger provide lots of benefits of health and based on some studies, ginger also has some beneficial effect in diabetes patient, below are the list that you can check :
1. Keeping blood sugar level
Some studies conducted in Iran reported that certain phytochemicals contained in ginger such as gingerol and other component can lower the blood sugar level. Study which conducted in more than 30 days with some diabetes patients shows that after therapeutic treatment with ginger, they experienced lower blood sugar level and this lead to maintain normal blood sugar level. The effect of ginger in lowering blood sugar level is may conducted with the inhibition of hepatic phosphorylase which known as an enzyme that break down glycogen ( glucose storage molecule ) into glucose. If glycogen break down into glucose, blood sugar level in the body will also rise.
2. Improve glucose tolerance
Mechanism of keeping blood sugar in diabetes patient has been studied by some researches and they found the phytochemical brought by ginger facilitated the glucose metabolism and improve glucose tolerance in the body. A study by James W Daily et al which published in Journal of Ethnic Food reported that ginger supplementation is efficient to improve the glucose tolerance in diabetes people especially those with type 2 diabetes.
3. Reduce insulin resistance
A study by Iranian researchers from University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran which published in Journal National Library of medicine reported that ginger supplementation can reduce insulin resistance level by 10,5 %. It is also suggested by those scientist that diabetes people better consume about 3 g of ginger supplement everyday for 8 weeks more to get the benefits.
4. Increase the secretion of insulin
According to a study which published in European Journal of Pharmacology, scientist has found that ginger extract can increase the level of insulin secretion by interact with serotonin receptor. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in brain which play important role in promoting pancreatic cells to produce insulin.
5. Reduce lipid profile
Ginger suplementation also can reduce the level of several kind of fat such as triglycerid acid, cholesterol and LDL ( Low density lipoprotein ). Better lipid profile show better health condition and prevent diabetes people to develop complication.
6. Decrease oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is a term which refer to the imbalance level of free radicals with the ability of the body to get rid their bad effect from the body. Oxidative stress may trigger development of complication in diabetes people. Ginger contains various phytochemical which act as antioxidant that can fight free radical and protect the body from free radical.
7. Increase hemoglobin level
It is also reported that ginger supplementation can increase level of hemoglobin in diabetes people. Hemoglobin play important role in oxygen and nutrient transport including sugar. The high level of hemoglobin allow the body to deliver better nutrition and prevent from lacking sugar as energy building block. When the body lack of sugar, glycogen will be broken to provide glucose and increase blood sugar level.
8. Improve liver function
People with diabetes has greater risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is a condition where some excessive fat attach to liver and bother liver function. It may also causing other serious health problem such as cirrhosis. Study has proved that consumin ginger extract can keep healthy liver and reduce the risk of developing fatty liver.
9. Improve kidney function
High sugar blood level can increase the risk of nerve, blood vessel and other organ damage including kidney. High blood sugar level in diabetes make the kidney work harder and even may cause glomeroli or kidney filter damage and lead to kidney failure. Ginger has potential effect to lower blood sugar level and keep healthy kidney.
10. Reduce inflammation
Diabetes is usually suffered by obese people and fat cells in their body will trigger the production of chemical which promote inflammation. Ginger contain anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce inflammation that occur in the body especially in people with diabetes type 2.
11. Protect from cataract
People with diabetes have high risk to develop cataract. Cataract is a condition which the lens of the eye become blurred, opaque or unclear. Human eyes get energy of sugar from Aqueous Humor and people with diabetes have no ability to control the sugar or glucose level in Aqueous Humor. This condition may cause excessive accumulation of sugar inside eyes which lead to cataract. According to a study which published in Journal of Molecular Vision, August 2010, ginger supplementation can help to delay the development of cataract.
Health risk of ginger
Ginger has lots of benefits for health but consuming excessive ginger is not recommended. Ginger can reduce the blood sugar level but consuming high amount of ginger may cause very low level of sugar in blood and it can make the body weak, dizzy and even fainting. Before consuming ginger as diabetic supplement, it is better to consult the doctor first.
Those are the benefits of ginger for people who suffer diabetes. Make sure you purchase fresh ginger if you want to consume it as food seasoning or choose only best ginger powder to make ginger tea. Having herbal medication to treat diabetes is another safety way to increase your health.