Ginger muscles in on diabetes

(Medical Xpress) -- Ginger, the common spice and ancient Asian remedy, could have the power to help manage the high levels of blood sugar which create complications for long-term diabetic patients, a University of Sydney study reports.

The study, published this month in the prestigious natural product journal Planta Medica, reveals the potential power of ginger to control blood glucose by using .

Professor of Basil Roufogalis who led the research says ginger extracts obtained from Buderim Ginger were able to increase the uptake of glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin.

"This assists in the management of high levels of blood sugar that create complications for long-term , and may allow cells to operate independently of insulin," says Professor Roufogalis.

"The components responsible for the increase in glucose were gingerols, the major phenolic components of the ginger rhizome.

"Under normal conditions, is strictly maintained within a narrow range, and skeletal muscle is a major site of glucose clearance in the body."

The pharmacy researchers extracted whole ginger rhizomes obtained from Buderim Ginger and showed that that one fraction of the extract was the most effective in reproducing the increase in glucose uptake by the whole extract in muscle cells grown in culture.

Analysis by colleagues in the University's Faculty of Pharmacy Dr Colin Duke and Dr Van Tran showed this fraction was rich in gingerols, particularly the [6]- and [8]-gingerols.

Work also undertaken to determine how the gingerols could increase showed an increase in the surface distribution of the protein GLUT4. When the protein localises on the surface of muscle cells it allows transport of glucose into cells.

In type 2 diabetic patients, the capacity of to uptake glucose is markedly reduced due to impaired insulin signal transduction and inefficiency of the GLUT4.

"It is hoped that these promising results for managing blood glucose levels can be examined further in human clinical trials," said Professor Roufogalis.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New molecular signaling cascade increases glucose uptake

Aug 20, 2010

Skeletal muscles combust both lipids and carbohydrates during exercise. The carbohydrates consist of both glycogen stored in the muscles as well as glucose extracted from the blood. Being a major sink for glucose disposal, ...

Glucose uptake relies on newly identified protein

Sep 06, 2011

All cells need glucose (sugar) to produce the energy they need to survive. High glucose levels in the bloodstream (such as occur after a meal), trigger the pancreas to produce insulin. In turn, muscle and ...

Apelin hormone injections powerfully lower blood sugar

Nov 04, 2008

By injecting a hormone produced by fat and other tissues into mice, researchers report in the November Cell Metabolism that they significantly lowered blood sugar levels in normal and obese mice. The findings suggest that t ...

New hormone for lowering blood sugar

Apr 03, 2012

New evidence points to a hormone that leaves muscles gobbling up sugar as if they can't get enough. That factor, which can be coaxed out of fat stem cells, could lead to a new treatment to lower blood sugar and improve metabolism, ...

Recommended for you

Mechanism behind age-dependent diabetes discovered

Sep 17, 2014

Ageing of insulin-secreting cells is coupled to a progressive decline in signal transduction and insulin release, according to a recent study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The finding, ...

User comments