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Whole ginger could help prevent prostate cancer

Spicy cancer breakthrough

As I was organizing my pantry after my recent move (still surrounded by boxes more than three weeks later, if you’re wondering), I realized there are certain spices I just can’t do without.

One of those is ginger. I absolutely love it in everything from the sweet (gingersnaps!) to the savory (try a dash of ground ginger in sautéed spinach–absolutely delicious). My love of ginger extends to the several boxes of teas involving the root.

And, of course, I also love it for its powerful properties. It’s great for nausea in everyone from pregnant women to chemo patients to those who get carsick. And ginger tea can be very soothing to sore throats.

Now, a new study from Georgia State University provides a new reason to love ginger. It turns out that the spicy delight could have a place in fighting cancer.

This was the first study of its kind, in that it looked at ginger as a whole instead of breaking it down into individual components. And taking ginger as a whole was a good move–because the researchers found that whole ginger extract could be a big player in preventing prostate cancer.

Researchers discovered in lab tests that whole ginger extract significantly stopped the growth of cancer cells and also spurred cell death in many kinds of prostate cancer cells. Animal studies showed that the extract was not toxic to normal tissues in the body, while it shrank tumors by up to 60 percent.

The lead researcher’s aims are a breath of fresh air. She takes a holistic approach, ditching the practice of breaking things down into individual compounds in favor of an approach that respects the synergy of a whole plant. She also concentrates on natural, non-toxic, plant-based ways to fight cancer while minimizing side effects.

More good news about this study–I’m not going to turn around and tell you that you have to eat a boatload of ginger every day. Evaluation of the study data shows that you only need about 3.5 ounces of whole ginger per day to get the benefits.

Research was started on prostate, breast, and cervical cancer cells. The researchers continue to explore ginger’s effect on the latter two cancers.

Sources:
“Whole Ginger Extract Has Promising Anti-Prostate Cancer Potential,” Medical News Today (www.medicalnewstoday.com)