Research: AL-SUHAIMI and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 199

Abstract

AL-SUHAIMI and COLLEAGUES, Department of Biology, Sciences College, Dammam University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. dr_suhaimi2008@windowslive.com  review physiological and therapeutic effects of ginger and turmeric and their effects upon endocrine gland functions, anti-ageing, anti-proliferative, antioxidant and molecular mechanisms.

Background

The natural product ginger (Zingiber officinale) has active constituents gingerol, Shogaol and Zerumbone, while turmeric (Curcuma longa) contains three active major curcuminoids, namely, curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. They have the same scientific classification and are reported to have anti-inflammatory and many therapeutic effects.

Methodology

This article reviews the physiological and therapeutic effects of ginger and turmeric on some endocrine gland functions, and signal pathways involved to mediate their actions.

Results

With some systems and adipose tissue, ginger and turmeric exert their actions through some/all of the following signals or molecular mechanisms: (1) through reduction of high levels of some hormones (as: T4, leptin) or interaction with hormone receptors; (2) by inhibition of cytokines/adipokine expression; (3) acting as a potent inhibitor of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating enzymes, which play an essential role between inflammation and progression of diseases; (4) mediation of their effects through the inhibition of signalling transcription factors; and/or (5) decrease the proliferative potent by down-regulation of antiapoptotic genes, which may suppress tumour promotion by blocking signal transduction pathways in the target cells.

Conclusion

These multiple mechanisms of protection against inflammation and oxidative damage make ginger and curcumin particularly promising natural agents in fighting the ravages of ageing and degenerative diseases, and need to be paid more attention by studies.

References

Al-Suhaimi EA, Al-Riziza NA and Al-Essa RA. Physiological and therapeutical roles of ginger and turmeric on endocrine functions. [Review] Source American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 39(2):215-31. 2011.

Comment

The authors review of the evidence regarding ginger and turmeric indicate that these natural herbs are effective anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment of degenerative diseases.

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