Ginger is one of the healthiest plants and most popular spices on the Planet. It contains more than 115 different chemical components which provide powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
A lot of its health benefits have been scientifically proven, including:
- Treating nausea, especially morning sickness
- Reducing muscle pain and soreness
- Relieving osteoarthritis symptoms
- Reducing blood sugar levels
- Lowering the risk of heart disease
- Treating chronic indigestion
- Reducing menstrual cramps
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Preventing cancer
- Improving brain function
- Fighting infections
However, in this article, we will focus on ginger’s effects on blood sugar levels and its ability to help the treatment of diabetes.
Ginger Effects on Blood Sugar and Insulin Sensitivity
A lot of studies have shown that ginger can help lower blood glucose levels and regulate insulin response in those with diabetes.
Researchers from one study gave a mix of ginger and cinnamon to obese rats with diabetes. They experienced the following changes:
- Lower blood glucose levels
- Lower body weight and body fat mass
- Higher insulin levels
Another research from 2015 shows that supplementing with ginger powder can help improve fasting blood glucose. Researchers gave participants 2g of ginger a day for 12 weeks.
The results showed that all of them had lower levels of apolipoprotein B, hemoglobin A1c, apolipoprotein A-1, and malondialdehyde.
A 2016 research shows that ginger can help prevent heart disease related to diabetes in rats. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also prevent other health complications related to diabetes.
NDTV of clinical trials regarding the efficacy of ginger powder in people with type 2 diabetes showed that ginger reduced blood glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity. Still, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the right dosage.
Ginger Effects on Diabetes Complications
Diabetes increases the risk of coronary heart disease. The blood flow in arteries is obstructed in this condition, so it can’t supply the heart with enough oxygen. Over time, this can lead to a heart attack.
One research, however, showed that ginger powder could reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in rats, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack.
The anti-atherosclerosis effects of ginger could relate to one of the early steps in blood clot formation – interference with platelet aggregation.
Four studies of one meta-analysis, which included a total of 8 investigating ginger’s effects on platelet aggregation in people, showed that ginger can lower platelet aggregation.
However, the other four studies showed the opposite results. Therefore, more research is needed to confirm these results.
Another health complication of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy or kidney disease. One study showed that ginger can reduce kidney damage in diabetic rats.
Possible side effects of ginger include heartburn, gas, and bloating. It can interfere with some medications such as blood thinners, in which case you should avoid it.
Do not use it as a substitute for any diabetes medication, and make sure you consult your doctor before taking it as a supplement.