National Institute of Nutrition, India
Nirmala Kota, PhD in Nutrition from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India with over thirty years experience in research and academics. Currently working as a Scientist in National Institute of Nutrition on projects related to Genotoxicity, Nutrition and Cancer.
Ginger is considered to be one of the most important nutraceutical plant and it contains bioactive substances like gingerols shogaols and paradols that exhibit antioxidant, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic and anticarcinogenic properties. Th is article provides an insight on the studies regarding cancer preventive potential of ginger. An invivo experiment was conducted to study the eff ect of ginger feeding on drug metabolizing enzymes in rats. Stimulatory eff ect due to ginger feeding was observed in tissues on GST, QR activity and antioxidant enzymes. Inhibition in the formation of malondialdehydes and reduction in the protein oxidative products in liver and kidney further supported its antioxidative potential. In continuation, a study was undertaken to see the eff ect of ginger under induced oxidative stress in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Dose-response increase in the activity of SOD, Catalase and GSHPx was observed. Dose-related eff ect was seen in the inhibition of MDA levels in liver in both non-diabetic and diabetic groups compared to control group. Reduction in the carbonyl levels was also observed in both the groups compared to control and a dose-response relation was seen. Th e DNA damage in blood of diabetic rats fed with ginger decreased showing a dose-dependent inhibitory action on DNA damage. Cytogenetic damage is considered to be one of the biomarker of genotoxicity. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were obtained from smokers, non-smokers and females. Trans stilbene oxide (TSO) was used to induce genetic damage in blood lymphocytes. Micronucleus expression was investigated in cytokinesis-blocked human lymphocytes following invitro exposure to TSO which induced signifi cant number of micronuclei. Treatment of cultured cells with ginger extract signifi cantly inhibited the formation of micronuclei. Genotoxicants induce mutations resulting in DNA damage .In a similar study using comet assay as a tool the antigenotoxic potential of ginger. B(a)P an ubiquitously present carcinogen was used to induce DNA damage that was quantitated in terms of comet ratios. A signifi cant reduction in comet ratios was seen in the cells treated with carcinogen along with ginger extract. Enhancing the sustainable use and conservation of indigenous knowledge of useful and medicinal plants like ginger may benefi t and improve the living standard of particularly the rural population.