A Spice That May Stop Colon Cancer
According to a new study, ginger root may lower some indicators of inflammation in the colon. The study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, is an early step toward finding out whether compounds found in ginger root might prevent colon cancer.
“Many studies in cell culture have shown that ginger is an anti-inflammatory,” says study researcher Suzanna M. Zick, ND, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.
Other studies in mice and rats have shown that ginger may help prevent the formation of tumors when it’s fed to the animals exposed to a chemical that causes colon cancer.
Zick and her team wanted to see whether those findings might translate to humans.
For the study, researchers randomly assigned 30 healthy adults to take capsules containing either 2 grams of powered ginger root or a placebo powder every day for four weeks.
It’s equivalent to about 2 tablespoons of ground-up ginger root,” Zick says. “It’s probably not what an average American would want to do every day. But certainly in India and China and Japan, they eat that amount on a daily basis,” she says, noting that those countries have lower rates of colorectal cancer.
But Asian diets may be protective for other reasons, too. Asian diets tend to include more vegetables and fiber and less red meat, for example.
“It probably all contributes together,” she says.
People in the study were asked to take the capsules at mealtimes. They weren’t allowed to use any other kind of medications, including aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) immediately before or during the study, because those are known to have anti-inflammatory effects.
The main side effects of taking ginger were minor stomach upset, heartburn, and gas.
Before and after the study, tissue samples were taken from the lining of the colon. Researchers tested these samples for chemicals called eicosanoids that increase inflammation in the gut.
“The ginger was able to decrease the level of inflammatory markers in the gut tissue,” compared to the placebo, Zick tells WebMD. “It decreases inflammation. We know that increased inflammation, chronic inflammation in the gut tissue is highly associated with developing precancerous lesions, or cancerous polyps.”
The study was funded, in part, by the National Cancer Institute.
Experts said the study was well done and intriguing, but preliminary.
“I think it’s a good study. It opens the door for us wanting to have further investigation,” says David Bernstein, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.
But he notes that even though ginger appears to be relatively safe, it’s not time to use large amounts of it to ward off colon cancer. Study volunteers were taking eight 250-milligram capsules a day.
“I don’t know that a biochemical response translates into a clinical response,” Bernstein says. “For that, you need a larger trial.”
“Ginger has been used for a long time for multiple medicinal reasons in the Far East. So I tend to believe that something that’s been used for hundreds of thousands of years by a group — there’s probably a reason. Now we have to prove why.”
Ahmad Givens: A "Real" Survivor
**UPDATE** from January 2015:
Below is a pic of my scar from surgery a couple months after, or shall I say my battle wound lol. This was the surgery where they removed tumors from my rectum and left side of my liver……So yesterday they took me off chemo completely cause none of it works anymore.So I have about 4 clinical trials to choose from which look really promising.My tumors have a rare mutation and supposedly they have new medicine to target the my tumors.Its suppose to stop the tumor mutation from spreading and shrink the tumors.So we will see.I don’t let this stuff bring me down,I just roll with the punches. Love
The former VH1 reality star Ahmad Givens, nickname “Real”, had a popular show called Real Chance of Love, and was on a mission to find love.
Fast forward to four months later, Real was in a Beverly Hills hospital.
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Once fans learned of the severity of Real’s stage 4 colon cancer, they immediately sent in an outpouring of love and support for the 33-year-old. In return, he issued this statement:
“Hey everyone, I know its been awhile since I’ve been on here. I’m sure most of you know I have colon cancer. At this moment I would like everyone to know I am doing a lot better after the chemo,changing my diet and the biggest impact of all which is God. He is truly amazing. It has truly touched my heart to see the love and support I have received from family, friends, associates, the media and all the people on Facebook and Twitter. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone and all those who have donated. Your donations have helped more than you know and I don’t know how to thank you enough. I’m gonna fight this cancer with all my strength and with God’s grace and love, I believe I’m gonna beat this. I’ll keep u posted on my progress and again, I thank you for all the donations, love and support from everyone. Thank you and I love you all. God bless.”
These days, things are looking up for the TV star. He’s taking his weekly chemotherapy treatments in stride and adopting a healthy lifestyle. When asked about his life now, he says, “If you’re 30 years old, please go get a thorough check-up. Cancer has no age limit these days. One of two people have cancer in the U.S. Love you. God bless.”
Via Twitter, he even shared with us his desire to return to work and inspire his fans:
“I feel better and I’m ready to work in some capacity,that’s why I think a radio show is good. Plus, I get to talk to all the people that showed love.”
What Do Black Men Need To Know About Colorectal Cancer?
African American men have less than a 5-year survival rate for colon cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic white men.
Colorectal cancer can begin in either the colon or the rectum. Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer, and cancer that begins in the rectum is called rectal cancer.
Most colon and rectal cancers begin involve a type of tumor called adenocarcinoma, which is a cancer of the cells that line the inside tissue of the colon and rectum. Other types of cancer that occur far less often, but can begin in the colon or rectum, include carcinoid tumor, gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), and lymphoma.
Because they are in a high-risk group, it is important for all black men to start their colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 40.