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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ginger: an ovarian cancer cell killer

(This article is re-directed from the CANCER BLOG. Thanks.)

Ginger has been prized for its medicinal properties in traditional health practices for centuries. New interest in the health benefits of ginger has led The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health to fund an investigative study into the possibility that ginger has the extraordinary potential to treat ovarian cancer. University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have discovered that ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die by several processes. The first is apoptosis, a cellular pathway cancer cells follow leading to a cancer cell suicide. The second process of cancer cell death is autophagy, a result of cancer cells digesting or attacking themselves.

This is an important discovery for ovarian cancer patients because ovarian cancer cells tend to develop a resistance to chemotherapy, leaving few additional options for treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.

As Dr. J. Rebecca Liu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center explains, “Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy – which is associated with resistance to apoptosis. If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy.”

In addition, researchers have stated that ginger induced cell death at a similar or better rate than the platinum-based chemotherapy drugs typically used to treat ovarian cancer. Ginger will still have to go through more studies beyond the laboratory setting to confirm the initial findings, but if ginger holds up in the power it has to kill ovarian cancer cells, treatment with ginger would simply involve taking capsules of powdered ginger. How cool is that!


(The article below was received via an e-mail.)

A Cancer Killer in the Kitchen - Ginger

The powerful healing effects of ginger have been well documented. It's a proven remedy for upset stomach. Reams of studies show that it inhibits inflammation. And there is substantial evidence that it fights cancer too.

For instance, a recent Universityof Michigan study showed that when ginger was added to ovarian cancer cells in the laboratory, it caused the cancer cells to self-destruct (a process known as "apoptosis"). In a separate study at the Universityof Minnesota, researchers injected colon cancer cells into mice that were bred to have no immune system.

Half of these mice were routinely fed gingerol, the main active component in ginger. The researchers found that the mice that were fed gingerol lived longer, their tumors were smaller,
and the cancer did not spread as widely as in the control group.

With all these health benefits, you should be using ginger as often as you can. The best way I've found to get a healthy serving of ginger is to juice it. (The brand of juicer I use is an Omega.) Two or three days a week, I juice an apple or two, some carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and a big piece of ginger root.

The ginger gives the drink a great flavor and a powerful anti-cancer kick.

I highly recommend that you try it.


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