Ginger supplement boosts white blood cell resilience, study suggests

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Ginger Inflammation Immune system autoimmune disease

A new human clinical trial finds that ginger supplementation may protect the white blood cells neutrophils against inflammation, known to result in further complications in those suffering with autoimmune conditions.

It was observed that the supplement significantly increased levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), whilst decreasing the levels of plasma neutrophil extracellular trap (NET). Thus, the ginger extract may boost the subsequent resistance to neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis).

The JCI insight-published research concluded: “In summary, this work demonstrates that ginger intake restrains neutrophil hyperactivity in autoimmune mouse models and that ginger consumption by healthy individuals makes their neutrophils more resistant to NETosis.”

The US researchers stress that the findings provide evidence for the biological mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, whilst providing a potential natural supplement to treat the symptoms of inflammation experienced with autoimmune diseases.


Chronic autoimmune disorders, including antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and lupus, represent a significant​ burden to society with regards to significant morbidity and mortality outcomes as well as health care costs.

Whilst it has been established that both conditions have unique clinical phenotypes, evidence​ has suggested that they are both driven by dysfunctional and exaggerated neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis). Such NETosis results​ in cascades of inflammation and thrombosis, which can lead to organ damage and further complications in autoimmune diseases.

It has been observed​ that natural herbs exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties may represent an effect resource to combat pathogenic NETosis. The researchers previously established that the bioactive 6-gingerol, purified from ginger root, demonstrated​ the ability to inhibit neutrophil hyperactivity in mouse models of APS and lupus.

To advance this research, the researchers sought to investigate the effect in neutrophil activity through administering oral ginger extract to healthy humans.


In addition to in vitro and mice studies, the researchers conducted a pilot clinical study using nine subjects with an average age of 27 years old. Participants were administered the Pureveda Activ Digest ginger supplement once daily for seven days, at a dose of 100 mg which contained 20 mg of ginerols.

Subsequent bloods were sampled at baseline, at day seven, and at day 14 to isolate neutrophils, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and plasma.

It was found that the ginger extract resulted in significantly boosted levels of neutrophil cAMP when compared with pre-ginger samples, which returned to near baseline one week after consumption had ended.

In addition, there was a subsequent decrease in NETosis and the levels of plasma NET, suggesting the ginger supplementation was able to boost the neutrophils’ resistance to NETosis.


The researchers conclude: “These data demonstrate that consumption of a ginger supplement by healthy individuals has the potential to alter neutrophil function in vivo, resulting in neutrophils less prone to NETosis.”

They add that the observed mechanism of action was in line with previous studies conducted by the researchers.

“Importantly, the suppressive effects of ginger on NETosis could be mitigated by blocking PKA activity, a key downstream cAMP-dependent kinase,” they explain.

They highlight the need for further research to be conducted to conclude on the impact of ginger supplementation on the neutrophils of those suffering with autoimmune diseases, as well as further infectious diseases such as COVID-19.




Source: JCI Insight

“Ginger intake suppresses neutrophil extracellular trap formation in autoimmune mice and healthy humans”

Ramadan A. Ali, Valerie C. Minarchick, Miela Zahavi, Christine E. Rysenga, Kristin A. Sturm, Claire K. Hoy, Cyrus Sarosh, Jason S. Knight, and M. Kristen Demoruelle

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