Confucius never had a meal without it. For thousands of years, it’s been prized around the world for powers ranging from soothing inflammation to inflaming the sex drive. Now, research suggests that ginger might help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
About five million American aged 65 and older suffer from the disease. The number of people with the irreversible, progressive brain disease is growing as our population ages, according to the National Institute of Health.
Through a recent study, researchers suggest that a compound found in ginger, called 6-shogaol, may be a promising weapon against the disease. The study was published in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications and noted on foodconsumer.org. The study suggested that supplementation with 6-shogaol helped prevent cognitive impairment in animals.
In previous studies, 6-shogaol showed memory-enhancing and antioxidant properties. Research has also suggested it has anti-neuro-inflammatory effects against Parkinson’s disease.
The anti-inflammatory powers of ginger may extend beyond the brain, according to research from Georgia College and State University. Researchers there found that two grams from raw or heat-treated ginger can reduce the pain associated with muscle injury after exercising—by about 25 percent.