Ginger has countless health benefits and has been a part of alternative medicine for centuries. It is slowly gaining recognition in mainstream medical circles too. But how beneficial is it for diabetics? It turns out that ginger is very useful for managing blood sugar levels. Let’s take a closer look.
Regulates Glucose Levels
High levels of glucose in your blood can be very harmful to your overall health. Over time, they can lead to organ damage, diabetic nephropathy, and other diabetes complications. To prevent these diseases, it is crucial to maintain healthy glucose levels.
Ginger can help you regulate the glucose levels in your blood. A study published in the International Journal of Ethnic Foods in March 2015 tested a small group of type 2 diabetes patients for the effects of ginger on their A1C levels. It was conducted with five different groups over a period of 30 days.
The researchers found that the group taking ginger on a daily basis had lower A1C levels than the control group at the end of the 30-day period. This experiment was short and conducted with a small number of patients. Further research is needed, but the results look promising.
Improves Glycemic Control
Ginger can also improve glycemic control in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. As with the previous point, the research is limited and further studies need to be conducted, but the results are encouraging so far.
The Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine published a study in June 2015 conducted in Iran. It investigated the effects of ginger on adult males suffering from type 2 diabetes. The sample size was small, but the experiment was controlled and randomized.
The patients were divided into two groups. People from the first group took 2 grams of ginger a day, while those in the second group received a placebo. After 12 weeks, researchers measured hemoglobin A1C and fasting blood sugar levels in all patients. Patients who received ginger showed significant improvements in both fasting sugar and A1C levels.
Modifies the Way Your Body Processes Carbs
Carbs can be very problematic for people suffering from diabetes. When they enter your body, your digestive tract breaks them down into sugar which goes straight to your blood stream. This can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and a host of related problems.
A review of studies was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, focusing on the role ginger plays in blood sugar regulation. The researchers conducting the overview concluded that, apart from blood sugar regulation, ginger also impacts the production of enzymes that regulate the way your body processes carbs. This, in turn, leads to greater absorption of carbs into muscles.
Additionally, the researchers pointed out that ginger can lower the number of lipids in the human body, which can reduce the risk of various diabetes complications.
Increases Serotonin Production
The European Journal of Pharmacology published a study in 2009 that examined how the interaction between ginger extracts and the 5-HT3 receptor channel system affects insulin secretion. The researchers found that oily extract and spissum can reverse the effects serotonin receptors have on insulin production.
The researchers found a 35% decrease in blood sugar levels and a 10% rise in plasma insulin levels in patients who received these extracts.
Ginger can help diabetics manage blood sugar levels, along with providing many other health benefits. The research is still scarce, but the results look promising for now.