for Natural News on June 28, 2013
"Ginger is one of the most widely consumed spices and herbal medicines in the world."
Ginger may help increase insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to the findings of a recent study conducted by researchers from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran and published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body fails to respond appropriately to the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. In contrast, type 1 diabetes is characterized by the body's failing to produce sufficient insulin to regulate blood sugar.
In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 64 people with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to take either a placebo or 2 g of ginger each day for two months. The researchers found that at the end of the study, patients who had received ginger had significantly higher insulin sensitivity and significantly lower levels of insulin, LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides. The findings suggest that ginger might be helpful to reduce "secondary complications" of type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded.
Ginger increases cells' sugar uptake
The findings follow another recent study, published by researchers from the University of Sydney in 2012, which found that ginger extract helps increase cells' absorption of glucose even independent of insulin.
"This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term diabetic patients, and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin," lead author Basil Roufogalis said.
The researchers found that the chemicals responsible for this property of ginger are the phenols known as gingerols. Specifically, gingerols increased the distribution of a protein known as GLUT4, which stimulates the skeletal muscles to uptake more glucose. Insufficiency of GLUT4 is a major cause of insulin insensitivity and high blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics.
"Under normal conditions, blood glucose level is strictly maintained within a narrow range, and skeletal muscle is a major site of glucose clearance in the body," Roufogalis said.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/040970_ginger_diabetes_insulin_resistance.html#ixzz2XTpwMC00