Research: FUHRMAN and colleagues, L

Listed in Issue 28


FUHRMAN and colleagues, Lipid Research Laboratory, Technion Faculty of Medicine, The Rappaport Family Institute for Research in the Medical Sciences and Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel set out to investigate whether ginger reduces plasma cholesterol


Oxidative modification of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Consumption of nutrients rich in phenolic antioxidants has been shown to be associated with attenuation of atherosclerosis development. This study was undertaken to investigate the ex vivo effect of standardized ginger extract on the development of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient (E(0)) mice, in relation to plasma cholesterol levels and the resistance of their LDL to oxidation and aggregation.


60 six-week old E(0) mice were divided into three groups of 20 and fed for 10 weeks via their drinking water with the following: i) (1.1% alcohol and water), placebo group ii) 25 mcg of ginger extract/day in 1.1% alcohol and water, iii) 250 mcg of ginger extract/day in 1.1% alcohol and water.


In mice that consumed 250 mcg of ginger extract, aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas were reduced by 44% (P<0.01). Plasma triglycerides (27%) and cholesterol (29%) (both P<0.01), VLDL (36%, 53% respectively) and in LDL (58, 33% respectively) were also reduced. There was a 76% reduction in cellular cholesterol biosynthesis rate in peritoneal macrophages derived from the mice that consumed the high dose of ginger extract for 10 weeks (P<0.01). Peritoneal macrophages harvested from mice after consumption of 25 or 250 mcg of ginger extract had a lower (P<0.01) capacity to oxidize LDL (45, 60% respectively), and to take up and degrade oxidized LDL (43,47% respectively). Consumption of 250 mcg of ginger extract also reduced the basal level of LDL-associated lipid peroxides by 62% (P<0.01). In parallel, a 33% inhibition (P<0.01) in LDL aggregation was obtained in mice fed ginger extract.


The authors concluded that dietary consumption of ginger extract by E(0) mice significantly attenuates the development of atherosclerotic lesions. This anti-atherogenic effect is associated with a significant reduction in plasma and LDL cholesterol levels and a significant reduction in the LDL basal oxidative state, as well as their susceptibility to oxidation and aggregation.


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