Recent research has shown that ginger may be up to 10,000 times more effective at fighting cancer than chemotherapy.
A new study identified powerful anti cancer stem cell activity in 6-shogaol, a pungent constituent of ginger produced when the root is either dried or cooked. The study also found that the cancer-destroying effects occurred at concentrations that were non-toxic to non-cancerous cells – a crucial difference from conventional cancer treatments that do not exhibit this kind of selective cytotoxicity and therefore can do great harm to the patient.
Cancer stem cells are sometimes called “mother cells” because they are the precursors to the “daughter cells” that multiply to create tumors. As the researchers noted, chemotherapy is not effective at killing these mother cells and therefore in many cases, the cancer returns.
Cancer stem cells pose serious obstacle to cancer therapy as they can be responsible for poor prognosis and tumour relapse. To add into the misery, very few chemotherapeutic compounds show promise to kill these cells. Several researchers have shown that cancer stem cells are resistant to paclitaxel, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, and platinum drugs. CSCs are thus an almost unreachable population in tumours for chemotherapy. Therefore any compound, that shows promise towards cancer stem cells, is a highly desirable step towards cancer treatment and should be followed up for further development.
Ginger also has been proven to be effective in killing ovarian and prostate cancer cells – further research could lead to more effective treatments that do not harm healthy cells in the human body, unlike chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Working with mice without immune systems, University of Minnesota scientists discovered that three weekly feedings of gingerol delayed the growth of colorectal cancer cells. University of Michigan researchers confirmed these results with ovarian cancer. In fact, they found that “Ginger treatment of cultured ovarian cancer cells induced profound growth inhibition in all cell lines tested.”