Ginger, For A Healthy Gut & Longevity 

In general the aging process is the progression of reduced physiological and biological functioning, but there is hope with the proper diet, exercise and supplements to increase longevity. 

Research shows that aging is affected by oxidative stress and inflammation. Elevated levels of oxidative stress in the body causes damage to DNA, proteins, carbohydrates and other important molecules. This leads to problems with cell growth, signaling and differentiation. The gastrointestinal tract (GI) is one body system that is affected by aging and reduced function occurs with free radical oxidative damage. 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) has demonstrated to be one of the most powerful botanicals to diminish oxidative stress and inflammation (Sahardi NFNM and Makpol S, 2019) and provides support to the GI. 

Ginger is a tropical plant that has flowers and a stem which has a unique fragrance. Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered as a juice or oil. It is found in many dietary supplements and used in drinks, foods, cosmetics and soap. 

  • A small amount of ginger in a stir fry helps to increase the flavor. 

In traditional Chinese medicine, ginger has been used for thousands of years to soothe the stomach and help for nausea and diarrhea (NIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 2016). Ginger has 2 major bioactives 6- gingerol and 6-shogaol, which are necessary to help with anti-aging benefits. 

The GI is very important to keep healthy with aging. There are muscles in the GI that help food to move through, get digested, absorbed and then utilized for its important functions. With aging, the process slows down and problems begin to occur such as constipation. Drinking a lot of water helps to increase fluid in the colon to help prevent it. 

A ginger extract was administered in a clinical study evaluating its effect on gastrointestinal motility (movement of food through the GI) (Micklefield G et al, 1999). The group taking ginger demonstrated a significant increase in gastrointestinal motility compared to the placebo. Another study showed that ginger improved gastric emptying (Wu KL et al, 2008).

Ginger has been shown to be beneficial to reducing pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (Bodagh MN et al, 2019). It also showed it helped with flatulence. When individuals have problems with acid coming up, the sphincter muscle may not be operating properly. 

  • The esophageal sphincter is a ring made up of muscle that is found between the esophagus and the stomach. This ring seals the esophagus from the stomach so food doesn’t back up. It only opens when food is consumed so that it can go down to the stomach. 

A systematic review was performed reviewing research papers on ginger (Anh NH et al, 2020). The studies evaluated ginger’s effect on nausea and vomiting, gastrointestinal and a few other measurements in various populations. There were 43 of the studies that met the standard for “high quality of evidence.” 

As with any dietary supplements, if one has a medical condition and/or are taking medication, they should consult with their health care practitioner prior to taking them. 

In summary, the aging process has a progression of reduced physiological and biological functioning. Although, there are ways to help with a good diet, exercise and supplements to increase longevity. Ginger is a botanical that has been shown to have a number of functions to help reduce the problems with aging such as oxidative stress and inflammation. The GI is one of the systems effected during aging, slowing down the progress of food being digested. Ginger has demonstrated major benefits to the GI.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is not for the purpose of marketing any products. 

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