Obesity represents a rapidly growing threat to the health of populations and diet intervention has been proposed as one of the strategies for weight loss. Ginger and its constituents have been used for their anti-flatulent, expectorant and appetizing properties and they are reported to possess gastro protective and cholesterol-lowering properties. The present study investigated the effects of gingerol on the changes in body weight, serum glucose, insulin, insulin resistance and lipid profile in plasma and liver as well as on the activity of amylase, lipase and leptin in high fat diet (HFD) - induced obese rats.
High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese rats were treated orally with gingerol (25, 50 and 75 mg kg-1 ) once daily for 30 days. Lorcaserin treated group (10 mg kg-1 ) was included for comparison. The levels of body weight, glucose, lipid profile and insulin, insulin resistance, leptin, amylase and lipase were increased significantly (P < 0.05) in HFD rats. Rats treated with gingerol and fed a HFD showed significantly (p < 0.05) decreased glucose level, body weight, leptin, insulin, amylase, lipase plasma and tissue lipids when compared to normal control. The effect at a dose of 75 mg kg-1 of gingerol was more pronounced than that of the dose 25 mg kg-1 and 50 mg kg-1 . Lorcaserin-treated group also manifested similar effects like gingerol.
These findings suggested that ginger supplementation suppresses obesity induced by a high fat diet and it might be a promising adjuvant therapy for the treatment of obesity and its complications.
Alex's notes: The human equivalent dose (HED) used in the study are 4.03, 8.06, & 12.09 mg/kg for the low, medium, and highest gingerol groups, respectively. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, and the -gingerol content of fresh ginger is 21 mg/g, meaning that you would need to consume .57 g/kg of fresh ginger (40g for a 150 lb person) to mimic the highest dose used. The drying and heating process further reduces the gingerol content of ginger, with extracts typically containing 170-240 mg/g. Thus if supplementing with a standard extract, 5.4 - 3.7 grams would be needed to mimic the highest dose used.