New research shows one plant root holds promise in reducing the risk of colon cancer. It works by reducing certain markers that can lead to the cancer of the large intestine.
Dr. Suzanna Zick has just wrapped up a phase II study on the root. She’s a naturopathic doctor…and has her master’s in public health. Dr. Zick is member of the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine faculty. She’s a research expert…and she specializes in alternative medicine.
“(The root) has the potential to decrease (cancer precursor) levels,” she says.
Previous studies have already showed these markers can lead to colon cancer. So Dr. Zick’s aim was to target them to put an end to colon cancer.
Top doctors are reviewing her findings…and they like what they see.
Dr. Andrew Chan has taken a look at the study. He teaches at Harvard…and is a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
He says the results are promising. He explains that the root attacks the real cause of colon cancer…which is intestinal inflammation.
“We know there are anti-inflammatories that appear to have anti-cancer properties,” says Dr. Chan. “Certain mechanisms seem to be common to both inflammation and cancer.”
Root Reduces Inflammation Levels by 28%
The root plays a large role in the history of medicine. We’re talking about ginger. It’s been used since the 1500s in ancient China, Japan, and India. These days, you can find it in a lot of foods…and it’s commonly used in Asian cooking.
Previous research shows it cuts inflammation…without harming the stomach like other remedies.
In the new study…Dr. Zick tested it on humans. She gave 30 people either two grams of ground ginger pills or placebo…for 28 days. The amount in the pills was equal to 20 grams of raw ginger root.
Those who took the ginger pills…saw their intestinal inflammation levels fall by an average of 28 percent. Levels remained the same for patients taking the placebo.
Dr. Zick offers more insight into how it actually works. “Ginger has the potential to decrease eicosanoid levels,” she says.
But why is that important?
Eicosanoids are signaling molecules. They signal inflammation…especially when they’re derived from omega-6 fatty acids. That’s why keeping a healthy omega-3/omega-6 balance is key. And ginger stops inflammation from flaring up.
A Variety of Options
There are many ways to add ginger to your diet. You can buy raw ginger at a grocery store…and make it into a tea. It’s also available as a supplement. It comes in extract or capsule form…and you can get them online or at a health food store.
Dr. Zick’s study used an equivalent of 20 grams for intestinal inflammation. Ginger is safe to use…but it’s worth noting that 20 grams is a high dose. Since this is a new study…doctors have not made a clear recommendation to fight colon cancer.
But most doctors say you should take one to two grams per day for stomach problems. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center advise patients to keep doses under four grams per day.
We’ve told you before how ginger can fight other inflammatory issues. You can read our article on ginger and arthritis here.
When more funding is available, Dr. Zick hopes to launch a larger study. We’ll keep an eye out for her latest research…and update you on any findings.
To your best health,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”