In long-term diabetic patients, ginger helps increase glucose uptake, say researchers.
A new report reveals the potential power of ginger to control blood glucose by using muscle cells. Ginger extracts were able to increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin, says Basil Roufogalis, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, University of Syndey, who led the study.
"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," says Roufogalis, the journal Planta Medica reports.
"The components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols -- the major phenolic components of the ginger rhizome. 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," says Roufogalis, according to a Sydney statement.
The pharmacy researchers extracted whole ginger rhizomes obtained from Buderim Ginger and showed that that one fraction of the extract was the most effective in reproducing the increase in glucose uptake by the whole extract in muscle cells grown in culture.
Analysis by colleagues Colin Duke and Van Tran from Sydney's Faculty of Pharmacy showed this fraction was rich in gingerols.