Who doesn’t love the gingerbread cookies found at so many holiday gatherings this season? But gingerbread cookies and houses aren’t the only reasons to love this delicious spice. New research found that it is helpful in treating diabetes.
In a study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of ginger supplementation on diabetes and insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces the hormone insulin which regulates blood sugar, but does not properly use it. Insulin resistance is also sometimes called “prediabetes” since it precedes type 2 diabetes. In insulin resistance, not only does the body have difficulty metabolizing sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure may also be present.
In the study, eighty-eight diabetics were given either ginger capsules or placebo capsule and their fasting blood sugar levels and other diabetes indicators were monitored for the eight week study duration. The diabetics who took one gram capsules of ginger, three times a day had significant improvements over those who received the placebo pills. Both fasting blood glucose levels and markers of insulin resistance showed significant improvement in the ginger group which suggests that ginger may be helpful in the treatment of both prediabetes and diabetes conditions. The marker for insulin resistance was especially improved with the ginger supplements suggesting that ginger may help treat the prediabetic condition prior to it becoming full-blown diabetes.
The research follows an earlier Australian study conducted by the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, Australia, and published in the journal Planta Medica, that showed ginger is effective in the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
Both studies used the readily-available type of ginger (Zingiber officinale) to obtain the beneficial results on blood sugar and diabetes. The dose used to obtain the study results is a one gram capsule of ginger three times daily. Take the supplement with food to avoid stomach upset that can occur with any supplement or medication. Consult your physician prior to use.