Aside from being an ingredient in cooking, ginger has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine to treat various diseases, such as colds, motion sickness, stomach aches, and muscle and joint pain. Even the efficacy of ginger is known to reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. So, how effective is ginger for diabetes? Consider the following review.
Ginger helps keep fasting blood sugar normal
Actually there have been many studies that prove the benefits of ginger to reduce blood sugar levels and help regulate the insulin response in diabetics. However, a study from Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Science in Iran found that ginger specifically reduced fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels in the blood. The theory was obtained after observing 88 diabetic patients who routinely maan 3 grams of ginger every day for 8 weeks.
Researchers don't know how surely ginger can reduce blood sugar. So far they suspect that the active compound in ginger inhibits the action of the hepatic phosphorylase enzyme to break down glycogen. When glycogen is broken down, blood sugar rises. But because ginger can inhibit these enzymes, the blood sugar of people with diabetes will decrease and be within normal limits.
Another study conducted in obese mice with diabetes also showed similar results. Mice that are used as research materials are known to get many benefits when given a mixture of cinnamon and ginger
Some of the benefits of a combination of ginger and cinnamon include a decrease in blood sugar, an increase in insulin levels, and a decrease in body weight and body fat. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also prevent diabetes complications, such as retinopathy, heart disease, and stroke.
Even so, more research is needed with a broader understanding to ensure the benefits of ginger for diabetes.
What should be considered if you want to use ginger for diabetes
Although a lot of research shows that ginger for diabetes has proven effective, you still have to be careful when taking it. You are not recommended to consume more than 4 grams of ginger per day.
Ginger rarely causes dangerous side effects, but eating lots of ginger can cause stomach aches and diarrhea. In addition, ginger has a blood thinning effect that can increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
If you are currently prescribed blood thinners by a doctor, you should avoid eating ginger. Similarly, if you are using blood pressure medication. The effect of blood thinners from ginger can reduce blood pressure which can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Remember, ginger is not a substitute for medical therapy that you may be undergoing. You still have to follow the doctor's advice. If you experience unusual symptoms when eating ginger, you should stop using it.
To be safe, make sure you always tell your doctor if you want to combine ginger with medical treatment. That way, the doctor will determine the dosage of the best medicine for you and discuss potential side effects.
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