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Ginger in cancer therapy

Ginger in cancer therapy

Ginger reduces the side effects of chemotherapy

Ginger can have an extremely positive effect in cancer therapy. As the German Cancer Aid reports, the root has a convincing effect against the stomach complaints associated with chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting. A research team led by Dr. Beate Niesler from the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital in Heidelberg has now succeeded in deciphering how ginger relieves nausea and helps to calm the stomach, according to the German Cancer Aid.

"The ingredients of the ginger inhibit certain messenger substances of the crushing center in the brain," reports the German Cancer Aid and added: "These findings enable the ginger root to be used in clinical practice." The research project in Heidelberg was funded by the German Cancer Aid with EUR 208,000. Already today, according to the experts, many cancer patients who suffer from nausea and vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy "trust the stomach-calming effect of the ginger root", although "until now it was (was) unclear how ginger actually works."

Stomach discomfort typical side effect of chemotherapy According to the German Cancer Aid, the stomach problems that often occur as a result of chemotherapy are particularly dangerous for cancer patients because they additionally weaken the already severely weakened patients. "In severe cases, the attending doctor even has to stop the therapy - even if the tumor actually responds to the medication," reports the German Cancer Aid. The nausea is caused by the cell toxins contained in the chemo-drugs. Because the intestinal cells are also susceptible to the medication. The damaged intestinal cells then release the messenger serotonin, which "docks on a receptor on the surface of nerve cells and thus activates the vomiting center in the brain", explains the German Cancer Aid. The result is nausea and vomiting.

Ginger root suppresses the side effects of chemotherapy Although there are numerous special medications, so-called anti-emetics, available for the side effects of chemotherapy, according to current knowledge, the natural active ingredients of ginger root also successfully suppress nausea. According to the German Cancer Aid, US researchers had already found in a study in 2009 "that ginger extract can reduce symptoms by 40 percent." However, until now there has been no scientific proof of the effectiveness of the root. Now the team around Dr. Beate Niesler found that "the ginger root contains a number of highly effective ingredients" that occupy the serotonin docking sites on the nerve cells. "The result: the serotonin can no longer bind. The crushing center is not activated and the nausea does not occur, ”explained the expert.

Scientists hope to use ginger in clinical studies According to the Heidelberg researcher, ginger works in principle in the same way as classic anti-emetics, which also occupy certain docking points on the nerve cells. "The ingredients of the ginger are, so to speak, the natural counterpart to the active ingredients of the anti-emetics," explained Dr. Beate Niesler. In view of the current findings, the scientists hope that the ginger root and its ingredients will soon be used in clinical studies. “A combination of ginger extract and anti-emetics would be a powerful weapon against the nausea caused by chemotherapy. The treatment would be twice as effective, ”emphasized Dr. Drizzle.

The general manager of the German Cancer Aid, Gerd Nettekoven, was also pleased with the current findings on the stomach-calming effects of ginger. "The aim of the research projects we support is not only to develop new therapy strategies, but also to make existing treatments as effective and as low in side effects as possible," Nettekoven emphasized. Here, ginger as a natural remedy for the side effects of cancer therapy obviously offers a very promising option. (fp)

Image: w.r.wagner / pixelio.de

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