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Ginger, a prostate cancer inhibitor

Nearly all men, if they live long enough, develop prostate cancer. Not a great prospect, which is why there's a great interest in cheap, non-toxic supplements that inhibit prostate cancer. In 2012, researchers at Georgia State University reported that they found a promising one: ginger extract.

Ginger  prostate cancer inhibitor

In vitro study

In 20212, the British Journal of Nutrition published the results of an American study in which ginger [Zingiber officinale] extract killed human prostate cancer cells.

The researchers did test-tube experiments on cells, and observed that more died at concentrations around 100 microgram/millilitre. Healthy prostate cells [PrEC] and human primary fibroblasts [HDT] did not die.

GE = ginger-extract.

Ginger  prostate cancer inhibitor

Animal study
The researchers implanted human PC-3 prostate cancer cells in mice. Some of the mice were given daily oral doses of 100 mg ginger extract per kg bodyweight; others were given nothing. The experiment lasted eight weeks, during which time the extract halved the growth of the tumour.

The human equivalent of this dose based on a man weighing 70 kg is 567 mg extract per day.

A hundred grams of fresh ginger will give you this, the researchers have estimated. [We prefer the extract, thank you very much- ed.]

Ginger  prostate cancer inhibitor

The extract inhibited the synthesis of cyclin B1, D1 and E. Cyclines are proteins that direct the development of a cell. Protein synthesis is higher in cancer cells. The extract boosted the concentration of p21 and active caspase-3.

These two proteins are active when cells commit suicide. Cancer cells deactivate these suicide mechanisms, but apparently ginger is capable of reactivating them.

"Our data present the potential usefulness of ginger extract in prostate cancer and warrant further studies", the researchers write.

Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb;107(4):473-84.

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