Recent research suggests ginger root may be an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. The study — led by Didier Merlin, PhD, of the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Georgia State University's Institute for Biomedical Sciences in Atlanta — will be published in the September issue of Biomaterials.
Here are five insights:
1. Using centrifuging and ultrasonic dispersion, the researchers converted ginger root into ginger-derived nanoparticles, which were fed to lab mice.
2. The researchers found that the nanoparticles were absorbed by cells lining the mice's intestines, which is where IBD inflammation occurs.
3. The nanoparticles lowered production of proteins that promote inflammation and raised production of proteins that fight inflammation, leading the mice to experience therapeutic effects like reduced acute colitis and enhanced intestinal repair.
4. These findings suggest that ginger-derived nanoparticles can be used as a nontoxic and cost-effective medicine for patients suffering from IBD.
5. With additional research, the team hopes that ginger-derived nanoparticles will be used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and even colitis-linked cancers.