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How ginger supplements could help treat autoimmune diseases

A new study suggests that ginger supplements could help in treating autoimmune diseases

Ginger supplements could affect processes that cause inflammation. (Pixabay)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 27.09.2023  |  03:58 PM IST

Ginger has been used in medicine for many common ailments such as colds and coughs, headaches, and pain relief. Now, a new study suggests that ginger supplements could help in treating autoimmune diseases.

In the study, published in JCI Insight, researchers explored how ginger can target a process in the body that is prone to cause inflammation. The researchers were primarily focused on neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, which is often considered the “first line of defense" against bacteria, viruses and fungi, according to Healthline. They are produced in the bone marrow and can fight elements that threaten the body.


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One of their ways of fighting pathogens is through the process of NETosis, which refers to the creation of structures known as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). In this process, some immune cells (neutrophils) produce NETs, which constitute DNA material combined with proteins that can destroy bacteria, as explained by Medical News Today. Infections and immune responses can activate the process. However, this process can also cause inflammation and lead to chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation can result in diseases such as heart problems and dementia, Healthline explains. “NETs can block off invading infections and they contain proteins that help fight infections, but NETs also contain proteins that lead to inflammation and in some people, these NET proteins can trigger autoimmunity that could lead to an autoimmune disease. Once someone has an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome or lupus, NETs can contribute to ongoing inflammation," said study author Kristen Demoruelle told Healthline.

The researchers found when healthy people consume ginger, it makes their neutrophils less prone to NETosis, according to Medical News Today. The findings highlighted that ginger supplements may significantly change how neutrophils behave and decrease NETosis.

This research suggests that ginger supplements could revolutionise the management of autoimmune diseases, such as APS and lupus. Taking ginger along with existing treatment could improve outcomes in chronic inflammatory diseases, Kelsey Costa, dietitian and nutrition consultant for the National Coalition on Healthcare told Medical News Today.

The study reiterates how natural medicine can be beneficial if taken properly and how this knowledge should be further explored.

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