Ground Ginger to Reduce Muscle Pain

Ground Ginger to Reduce Muscle Pain
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There’s been at least 8 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of ginger for pain.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Previously, I explored the use of spinach for athletic performance and recovery, attributed to its “anti-inflammatory effects.” But, most athletes aren’t using spinach to beat back inflammation. They use drugs—typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, used by up to 95% of collegiate athletes, and even three-quarters of kids playing high school football, including prophylactic use, in an attempt “to prevent pain and inflammation before it occurs. However, scientific evidence for this approach is currently lacking, and athletes should be aware of the potential risks,” which include gastrointestinal pain and bleeding, kidney damage, and liver damage.

This is the study that freaked everyone out. A study of thousands of marathon runners, and “five times” the incidence of “organ damage” among those taking over-the-counter painkillers before the race. Nine were hospitalized: three with kidney failure after taking ibuprofen, four with gastrointestinal bleeding after aspirin, and two heart attacks, whereas none of the control group not taking painkillers ended up in the hospital. And, it looks like the drugs didn’t even help. “Analysis of the pain reported…before and after the race showed no [real] advantage” to taking the drugs; so, it appeared to just be all downsides.

What about using ginger instead? In that marathon study, the most common adverse effect of taking the drugs was gastrointestinal cramping. Ginger, in contrast to aspirin or ibuprofen-type drugs, may actually improve gastrointestinal function. For example, endurance athletes can suffer from nausea, and hey, ginger is prized for its anti-nausea properties. Yeah, but does it work for muscle pain?

There’s been at least eight randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of ginger for pain—everything from osteoarthritis, to irritable bowel, to painful periods. I’ve made videos about all those, as well as its use for migraine headaches. Overall, ginger extracts, like the powdered ginger spice you’d get at any grocery store, were found to be “clinically effective [pain-reducing] agents [with] a better safety profile than [the] drugs.” In some of the studies, the ginger worked better than in others, which is thought to be due, in part, to the different doses that were used, as there’s a “strong dose-effect relationship.” The best results, in terms of reduction of pain, were with one-and-a-half or two grams a day, which is a full teaspoon of ground ginger.

The drugs work by suppressing an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase 2, which triggers inflammation. The problem is that the drugs also suppress cyclooxygenase 1, which does good things, like protect the lining of your stomach and intestines. So: “Since inhibition of COX-1 is associated with gastrointestinal irritation,” if only we could selectively inhibit the inflammatory one, that would offer the best of both worlds. And, that’s what ginger seems to do. Here’s the effect of two ginger compounds against cyclooxygenase 1, the “good” one. No effect, but ginger can dramatically cut down on the pro-inflammatory one.

Okay, but does it work for muscle pain? Not acutely. You can’t just take it like a drug. If you give folks a teaspoon of ginger before a bout of cycling, no difference in leg muscle pain over the 30 minutes. “However, ginger may attenuate the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.” Taking ginger five days in a row appears to “accelerate the recovery of maximal strength” following a high-load weight-lifting protocol. Put all the studies together, and a single dose of ginger doesn’t appear to help, but a teaspoon or two for a couple days or weeks in a pumpkin smoothie or something, and you may be able to reduce muscle pain and soreness, and accelerate recovery of muscular strength.

Is fresh ginger preferable to powdered? Maybe not. There are all sorts of compounds in ginger with “creative” names, like gingerols, and gingerdiols, and gingerdiones, but the most potent anti-inflammatory component may be a compound called shogaol. And: “Interestingly, dried ginger contains more…than fresh,” justifying the medicinal uses of powdered ginger “for…illnesses due to oxidative stress and inflammation.” Why not then just give the extracted shogaol component in a pill by itself? Each of the active ginger components individually reduces inflammation, some more than others, but the whole ginger is greater than the sum of its parts.

But, you can boost the shogaol content of whole ginger by drying it, as they are “the major gingerol dehydration products;” they’re created when ginger is dried. Heating ginger may increase shogaol concentration even more; so, could heated ginger work better against pain than raw? You don’t know, until you put it to the test: A study of 11 days of a teaspoon of raw ginger versus ginger that was boiled for three hours on muscle pain. A significant reduction in muscle soreness a day after pumping iron in the cooked ginger group, and… the same benefit from the raw ginger. Either way, “daily consumption of raw and heat-treated [dried] ginger [can] result…[in] moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Harvey Gibson via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Previously, I explored the use of spinach for athletic performance and recovery, attributed to its “anti-inflammatory effects.” But, most athletes aren’t using spinach to beat back inflammation. They use drugs—typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, used by up to 95% of collegiate athletes, and even three-quarters of kids playing high school football, including prophylactic use, in an attempt “to prevent pain and inflammation before it occurs. However, scientific evidence for this approach is currently lacking, and athletes should be aware of the potential risks,” which include gastrointestinal pain and bleeding, kidney damage, and liver damage.

This is the study that freaked everyone out. A study of thousands of marathon runners, and “five times” the incidence of “organ damage” among those taking over-the-counter painkillers before the race. Nine were hospitalized: three with kidney failure after taking ibuprofen, four with gastrointestinal bleeding after aspirin, and two heart attacks, whereas none of the control group not taking painkillers ended up in the hospital. And, it looks like the drugs didn’t even help. “Analysis of the pain reported…before and after the race showed no [real] advantage” to taking the drugs; so, it appeared to just be all downsides.

What about using ginger instead? In that marathon study, the most common adverse effect of taking the drugs was gastrointestinal cramping. Ginger, in contrast to aspirin or ibuprofen-type drugs, may actually improve gastrointestinal function. For example, endurance athletes can suffer from nausea, and hey, ginger is prized for its anti-nausea properties. Yeah, but does it work for muscle pain?

There’s been at least eight randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of ginger for pain—everything from osteoarthritis, to irritable bowel, to painful periods. I’ve made videos about all those, as well as its use for migraine headaches. Overall, ginger extracts, like the powdered ginger spice you’d get at any grocery store, were found to be “clinically effective [pain-reducing] agents [with] a better safety profile than [the] drugs.” In some of the studies, the ginger worked better than in others, which is thought to be due, in part, to the different doses that were used, as there’s a “strong dose-effect relationship.” The best results, in terms of reduction of pain, were with one-and-a-half or two grams a day, which is a full teaspoon of ground ginger.

The drugs work by suppressing an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase 2, which triggers inflammation. The problem is that the drugs also suppress cyclooxygenase 1, which does good things, like protect the lining of your stomach and intestines. So: “Since inhibition of COX-1 is associated with gastrointestinal irritation,” if only we could selectively inhibit the inflammatory one, that would offer the best of both worlds. And, that’s what ginger seems to do. Here’s the effect of two ginger compounds against cyclooxygenase 1, the “good” one. No effect, but ginger can dramatically cut down on the pro-inflammatory one.

Okay, but does it work for muscle pain? Not acutely. You can’t just take it like a drug. If you give folks a teaspoon of ginger before a bout of cycling, no difference in leg muscle pain over the 30 minutes. “However, ginger may attenuate the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.” Taking ginger five days in a row appears to “accelerate the recovery of maximal strength” following a high-load weight-lifting protocol. Put all the studies together, and a single dose of ginger doesn’t appear to help, but a teaspoon or two for a couple days or weeks in a pumpkin smoothie or something, and you may be able to reduce muscle pain and soreness, and accelerate recovery of muscular strength.

Is fresh ginger preferable to powdered? Maybe not. There are all sorts of compounds in ginger with “creative” names, like gingerols, and gingerdiols, and gingerdiones, but the most potent anti-inflammatory component may be a compound called shogaol. And: “Interestingly, dried ginger contains more…than fresh,” justifying the medicinal uses of powdered ginger “for…illnesses due to oxidative stress and inflammation.” Why not then just give the extracted shogaol component in a pill by itself? Each of the active ginger components individually reduces inflammation, some more than others, but the whole ginger is greater than the sum of its parts.

But, you can boost the shogaol content of whole ginger by drying it, as they are “the major gingerol dehydration products;” they’re created when ginger is dried. Heating ginger may increase shogaol concentration even more; so, could heated ginger work better against pain than raw? You don’t know, until you put it to the test: A study of 11 days of a teaspoon of raw ginger versus ginger that was boiled for three hours on muscle pain. A significant reduction in muscle soreness a day after pumping iron in the cooked ginger group, and… the same benefit from the raw ginger. Either way, “daily consumption of raw and heat-treated [dried] ginger [can] result…[in] moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Harvey Gibson via Unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

53 responses to “Ground Ginger to Reduce Muscle Pain

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  1. I’m currently dealing with a particularly bad case of plantar fasciitis. The go-to advice is generally ice and NSAIDs. Ice is not advisable in my case due to temperature- and stress-reactive Raynauds.

    Would it be safe to conclude that ginger could be substituted for NSAIDs in this case? And what about as a topical solution?

      1. Unfortunately, that isn’t terribly helpful as this isn’t due to anything even close to what would be considered an athletic injury. Good info if I want to run a marathon though.

        Can’t do heat either due to temperature-reactive Raynauds. Three weeks before the first available therapy appointment, I’m just trying to avoid adding chemicals to my diet.

          1. Green tea might help.

            “The skin temperature of the hands and feet was measured using digital infrared thermography at the baseline and at 15, 30, 45, and 60 min after the oral administration of the tea or placebo. The skin temperature of the hands and feet of the fermented green tea-administered group was significantly higher than that of the placebo-administered group. The temperature difference between the finger and the dorsum of the hand was significantly lower in the fermented green tea-administered group than that in the placebo group.”

            Vielight, Cold Laser, PEMF are some of the gadgets, which help increase microcirculation.

        1. Leigh, when I had plantar fasciitis, I made large circles, (stretching,) with my feet in the morning before arising. It worked for me.

    1. Leigh, I have a lot of empathy for your painful plantar fasciitis condition! I tried exercise, orthotics, hot/cold packs, and used ginger and turmeric orally, but they didn’t get rid of the condition. It didn’t surprise me really since I’d seen on ultrasound scans that the the plantar fascia was abnormally thickened, had lost elasticity, and would really need some sort of physical intervention. I opted for Lithotripsy, which is a shock wave therapy delivered using ultrasound guidance, which breaks down the fascia. It’s an outpatient procedure, and from memory I had 2 or 3 treatments. That was 6 years ago, and the treatment was 100% successful. I still make sure that I have reasonable support under the bridge of my foot. Happy healing!

    2. You could try substituting ginger for NSAIDs. I am going start adding ginger to my morning smoothie.. why not! I find that Bosmeric-Sr helps my foot pain a lot – Better Way Health is a good place to get it. It is a supplement that has ginger in it along with curcumin and boswellia. I also have found the SOTA magnetic pulser(small powerful pemf device) helps. Also good old fashioned Epson salts soaking of the feet helps mine. I hope this helps your foot pain.. these remedies have helped mine. The nice thing about the Bosmeric is that I can take extra if it is a really bad day. I hope you feel better soon!

  2. I seem to remember that some selective COX2-inhibitors (Rofecoxib) got a bad reputation for causing heart attacks and stroke.
    What about ginger?
    Thanks!

  3. Don’t overdo ginger! My brother went on a ginger spree using large amounts of fresh ginger in dishes at every meal hoping to reduce hip pain. He developed anemia which resolved quickly upon stopping ginger.

    1. Oh man regarding the overuse of ginger. I take small amounts but frequently during my heavy menstrual cycles…which do cause me to have mild anemia. My ferritin went from 26 to 15 recently, evidence of this, argh!

    2. Tom,

      Yes, I was giving ginger and turmeric to my dog as part of a Cancer protocol, but his anemia got slightly worse. If I am remembering properly, in animal studies, the animals developed anemia within 5 weeks of ginger and turmeric usage, but my dog already had anemia, because of the hemangiosarcoma, so those weren’t good for him.

      Luckily, I found things like Amla / Triphala, which also kill Cancer and they are anti-anemia. Wondering if they also help with pain? Trying to remember the long list in the Amla video, but anti-cancer and anti-anemia were all I cared about.

  4. Great video. Confirms my present regimen – 1/8 tsp of turmeric and ginger in my hot tea (3-5 cups a day). I am 72 and still do heavy weight lifting. Necessary for posture and stamina, but conducive to muscle and joint soreness. I do not do well on NSAID’s, especially repetitive use or large doses, so the turmeric/ginger combination has been my go-to protocol.

    1. NSAIDs to reduce exericse-induced muscle soreness appears to be a bad idea, as there is evidence NSAIDs can interfere with the muscle and bone strengthening effects of workouts. Repairing tissue damage is an inflammatory process. Chemically interfering with it could be counterproductive. Dr. Markin wrote several blog articles on this in 2017. Makes me wonder about the effects of ginger.

  5. Thanks again for the great information, and amazing selflessness of all the staff at nutritionalfacts.org.
    Ginger is a medicine and has lots of great properties. Diluting mucus, alleviating pain, and inflammation, reducing asthma systems, and thinning out bile too I think.

    , I was taking a lot of Ginger and eating and some raw garlic, and the surgeon told to be careful because ginger, garlic and cinnamon, blood thinner /anti clotting agents, and reduce red blood cell count. I had never had low RBC before. So I don’t know if that’s right, but in personal experience Garlic raw, and cinnamon apear to have the largest blood thinning affects,followed by ginger, so t hinkthink I would mention that, if people are going to rush out and start eating teaspoons of ginger per day. Everyday.
    Clove is also great for pain and inflammation, but can’t be consumed everyday, as I read it can tear down the intestines (is this true). So sometimes i add some to smoothies sometimes I don’t.

    1. I use clove frequently so would also like to know whether it can damage the intestine. I recently went to alternating various herbs/spices to try to reduce the odds of negative reactions. I’d like to see this general topic addressed.

  6. As far as reducing muscle soreness goes, in my experience grounding oneself has an amazing effect. I went on a steep up and down 17 mile hike a few weeks ago, slept grounded, and woke up the next day with my muscles feeling a little tight – but not sore at all.

    And no need to take my word for it, the effect of grounding has good scientific behind it, including a number of double-blind controlled studies published in peer reviewed journals.

    For example this University of Oregon study: “Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness,” (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACD), Volume 16, Number 3, 2010, pp. 265–273, http://162.214.7.219/~earthio0/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Brown_Chevalier_Hill_earthing_delayed_muscle_2010.pdf ) where researchers found that grounding not only had significant effects on a variety of blood parameters and on reported pain, but dramatically reduced the time of recovery from DOMS.

    And this 2015 study from U.C. Irvine: “One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Grounding) Improves Inflammation and Blood Flow—A Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study,” (http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=58836)

    You can find links to many more published scientific research papers here: http://www.earthinginstitute.net/research/

    And just for fun, some of you might enjoy the short video “Grounding Technology used in the Tour de France”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icZIZ5UUoOE

    1. alef1, absolutely grounding is AWESOME and unfortunately so relatively unknown. Far better for relieving inflammation than any supplement, healthy food or herb. It is natures antioxidant and the more you ground, the healthier you get! Our species evolved connected to the earth–walking with bare feet, sitting and sleeping on the ground.. For those interested, in addition to your good references I highly recommend the book “Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?”.

      1. Julie, thanks for the book recommendation. I would love to check it out!

        Does anyone know if there’s been any kind of proof to the claim that “grounding” or “earthing” pulls toxins out of the body? That one sounds a little harder to believe but then, not completely.

    2. Thanks for the link on grounding. Explains why I innately choose an uncomfortable pair of leather soled slip-ons over un-natuaral soled shoes that are more comfortable, when I go outside.

    3. alef,

      I think that being outside in nature makes such a big difference. When I used to struggle with depression, nature is what would take the depression away so quickly. I could never tell whether it was sunlight or earthing, but it was as if time stopped and stress stopped.

      I am still pondering if mankind has messed with Schuman Resonances with all of our technology.

      What have we done that the frequency of the earth has changed?

      It makes grounding even more important, in my opinion.

      Though I am wondering if it is still as effective as it was?

    4. THANK YOU for this info alef1!! I loved the idea of “grounding” but wasn’t sure if it was real or not because I only read about it in little articles or blogs here and there, it’s so cool to know that there’s some science behind it! The earth is amazing.

  7. until they put it to the ( stupid ) test. who boils ginger for three hours? why could they not do something realistic? i know the taste of cooked ginger
    is very different from the raw hence the double blind crossover type of study is difficult to do. is it better to get results that are generally not real world
    scenarios or to get real world results from non double blind crossover studies?

  8. Is there any evidence (OR Dr. Greger’s best thinking on the subject) to suggest that drinking ginger tea is equivalent to eating the powder or fresh ginger?

    Thanks in advance!! Love this website (I Visit daily) and thanks for all you do!!

    -Scott

      1. Do you recommend Ceylon cinnamon over cassia? Curious if the milder Ceylon is less robust in the things cinnamon is touted for.

        1. Apologies for going off topic with the above question… it’s just that I associate ginger and cinnamon as I use them both at the same time.

        2. Lonie, Dr. Greger has recommended ceylon cinnamon over cassia because cassia has something in it that’s toxic to the liver. Ceylon cinnamon has all the same antioxidants that cassia cinnamon, the only thing it doesn’t have is the ability to prevent blood sugar spikes in the way they cassia does, I believe it’s theorized that it’s the toxin found in the cassia responsible for the blood sugar control.
          I’m pretty sure the video with this information is entitled something like “is cinnamon safe for blood sugar control?” there may be multiple videos, I don’t remember.

          1. Thanks for the reply S. The reason I was asking is because I eat things like a lot of ginger snaps, cinnamon graham crackers, and lemon coconut cookies with my daily teas.

            I suspect the cinnamon they use is Cassia rather than the more expensive Ceylon. Likewise I’m sure for cinnamon buns and cinnamon apple sauce.

            I’ve read that Cassia cinnamon is the natural substitute for Warfarin (without Warfarin’s side effects)… much like White Willow Bark is a natural substitute for aspirin… again, without aspirin’s side effects.

            So while there may be some toxicity in Cassia cinnamon, maybe that’s not a bad thing? After all, I think there are other natural toxins that taken in minute amounts are medicinal rather than poisonous.

            I was just hoping to get more clarity on the Cassia cinnamon since it is used by the tons, worldwide… apparently while generally being recognized as safe.

            Side note S: 3 of my contingent of 4 free-range cats… Momma Cass Cat and two of her offspring, left home a few days ago. One of the off spring stayed here.

            Momma Cass Cat showed up for evening mess last night and the two teenager offspring showed up this morning but after feeding time. Momma Cass seemed in need of feeding but the two teens both had full bellys so I didn’t feed them. Hoping they will leave again and go back to where they got their little bellys full before. ‘-)

            Lonie
            aka newly minted Hank Dewey

                1. back to the topic of kitties, I’m not sure if you ever thought about it, but spaying/neutering and releasing is really helpful to the cats and the ecosystem. Regardless, I’m grateful that you feed them and give them a nice place!

            1. Aww, kitties! Hmm, sounds like you may just have to welcome some new felines to the tribe. Totally worth it :) <3

              Good point about cassia. It's true that it's in the majority or virtually all if not all cinnamon prepared foods and what kid didn't love cinnamon toast crunch? I've never heard of liver toxicity over cinnamon. Although, I never heard of liver toxicity over tylenol until I was in the hospital hearing about it from nurses. But still, the world doesn't seem to be getting sick from cinnamon snacks. And we could probably isolate something toxic from almost any edible plant or at least many. I think when something like that is discovered they should follow it up with human studies on the effects of ingestion (especially in this case because if it were safe, it would be great for diabetics), you could pay people or just feed death row inmates cinnamon buns, I highly doubt they'd be opposed. I also don't think raw mushrooms are anything to worry about or ripe potatoes, personally. And I think over-worrying can be extremely harmful (speaking from my own experience). But when I buy cinnamon I do buy ceylon. I would like more follow up as well though, you have some good points.

    1. Dr. Weil said not to take more than 4 grams per day or it will affect blood thinning and not to take it for a few weeks before surgery and during pregnancy.

  9. My dog looks so good today, that I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow’s lab results.

    But as I was reviewing what people are saying about Triphala, I was reminded that it is sooooo easy to make mistakes in this process.

    I am not giving NAC or Glutathione to my dog, but I saw it on people’s cancer list and I used it when my brain was more broken. Tonight, I see more evidence that my brain is healing further. I have to work on sleep and OCD, but the OCD has helped with getting over all the diseases and the lack of sleep has allowed me to take in a lot of information, so I am just celebrating that my brain is continuing to improve and my dog is continuing to improve (Though in the morning, I will find out if his improvement is placebo effect and my mind getting better could be, too, but I noticed tangible improvements in some areas.)

    This was what made me need to re-check every single thing I am giving.

    According to Denver Naturopathic. http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/NAC2011.htm

    “N-acetyl-cysteine really worries me with cancer. NAC is the precursor to a chemical called glutathione. Oral NAC is rapidly taken up by the body and quickly converted to glutathione. Glutathione is the primary antioxidant within all of our cells. It protects our cells from oxidative damage. This is a good thing in healthy cells; we prefer that they are not damaged. But in cancer cells we prefer the opposite. We want cancer cells to be extra vulnerable to damage. Cancer cells generate oxidative chemicals referred to in total as reactive oxygen species (ROS) in an attempt to destroy themselves. Glutathione acts as a brake and prevents them from self-destruction or to use the scientific term, apoptosis.

    Raising glutathione stops cancer cell death.

    Most cancer therapies work to kill cancer cells by increasing the levels of reactive oxygen species within the cancer cells. This includes radiation therapy, most chemotherapies and most natural therapies.

    Providing cancer cells with NAC, because it will increase glutathione, protects the cancer cells and prevents them from dying.

    We often see NAC being used in studies investigating the mechanisms of how anticancer agents work; they use NAC in a simple trick to see if the drugs are killing cancer cells through the common mechanism of increasing reactive oxygen species. If adding NAC stops the action of the anticancer agent, than it is assumed it was acting through oxidative action. Let me find a recent example.

    In April 2010, Korean researchers reported on the action of NAC in combination with a proteosome inhibiting chemotherapy drug known as MG132.

    First they showed that MG132 increased the amounts of ROS in lung cancer cells and as expected, the drug slowed the rate of growth of the cancer cells. Then they treated the cancer cells with NAC. The drug no longer slowed growth rates.

    The procedures followed in this study were not novel. They are routine when evaluating chemotherapy drugs. First, measure how well the drug works against tumor cells and then measure whether NAC stops the effect. This tells the scientists to what degree the drug’s action is via reactive oxygen species generation and whether other anti-cancer mechanisms are involved.

    It’s not just the medical treatments that NAC will potentially interfere with. A paper from December 2010 tells us that NAC ‘blocked the antiproliferative’ effect of curcumin, that is stopped it from hindering the growth of cancer cells.

    A paper scheduled for publication this coming April tells a similar story in regard to a traditional Chinese medicine known as “Cantharidin”.

    A paper from last week on gingseng reports NAC has a similar benefit blocking action against cancer.

    Same story with berberine. Same story actually with pretty much any natural treatment you might consider using along with the medical treatments. Most act through increasing ROS and NAC cancels that effect out.

    Selenium stimulates apoptosis by generating ROS. Once again NAC inhibits the process.

    Melatonin is the same. Even though we may describe melatonin as an antioxidant, in cancer cells it has the opposite effect and stimulates production of ROS. A January 2011 article reviewing melatonin’s effects describes again how NAC decreases the antitumor effect, in this particular study, against hematopoietic cancer cell lines.

    There is no need to mention every last substance, you should be getting the idea by now, but let’s at least reference studies regarding a few more common anticancer agents.

    Add vitamin D-3 to the list of things that lose their anticancer effect when combined with NAC. So too, green tea; “By treating cells with high concentrations of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger NAC (N-acetyl-1-cysteine), the apoptotic effect of EGCG [green tea] was abolished…”

    Given information like this, it is remarkable that we still see some practitioners giving NAC to cancer patients. There is a reason for this. In the late 1980s, before the chemistry of apoptosis was well understood, it was noticed that NAC decreased the toxicity of some types of chemotherapy, especially the ones that rely on oxidative damage to kill cancer cells. No one at the time knew better and decreasing the suffering patients endured during treatment seemed like a reasonable course of action. But that was years ago and everyone should know better by now.

    When we see cancer patients who are taking NAC, we try and find tactful words with which to dissuade them from the practice. We also attempt to dissuade cancer patients from consuming large amounts of whey protein. Whey is a great source of l-glutamine and can aid patients in rebuilding lost muscle mass. It is also a great source of l-cysteine and so also increases glutathione production. Again, because it increases glutathione, it may inactivate anticancer therapies. This connection is less well documented but still concerns us.

    1. Deb, I wonder if you aren’t getting information over load? (Been there done that)

      The reason I suggest that is because I too once read every bit of research about every natural edible I could find. Some of those ideas I kept and follow to this day, but after understanding that many things, especially the fringe edibles (read: herbs, spices) that were purported to do the same thing as some of the less expensive things I was already consuming.

      And while I don’t do regular fasts anymore but do probably qualify as somewhat caloric restricted… at least for stretches, if I were diagnosed with cancer today the first thing I would do is return home, remove all food from sight, and fast for some 3 or 4 days. (cancer cells need glucose)

      I don’t have a lot of body fat and my body would convert to a keto state, so I would continue consuming some Medium Chain Triglycerides to feed my brain along with the converted fat my liver would be providing my body for energy.

      After coming off the fast, I would continue with feeding the keto state of my body (with healthy fats, that is) until I would hope cancer cells had died of starvation from lack of glucose.

      Then I would go to another doctor and get a second opinion. ‘-)

  10. So does my Milk Thistle or Turmeric, which increase Glutathione, counteract the effects of Melatonin and Vitamin D an Triphala?

    Did the Turmeric counteract the effects of the Green Tea?

  11. why do they boil it for so long? Who is going to boil something that long? Isn’t it enough just to boil it for a few minutes for it become heat treated or “cooked?” Sometimes when I make my red lentils I blend up fresh ginger and fresh turmeric root if I have it, then use that water to cooked the lentils in.

    Also, how do you dry fresh ginger? (without having a food dehydrator I mean of course.).

  12. Hi guys. I’m a long time follower and occasional commenter, with a question please, that’s been bugging me for some time. :-)
    Many of the anti-inflammatory foods are also known to have anti-bacterial properties – ginger, clove, garlic, etc. So I am wondering how these would affect the gut microbiome ?
    As the long-term effects of consuming these foods is beneficial, does that mean that any gut bacteria they may be killing are the ‘bad’ ones, leaving us with a healthy gut flora population ? Can their effects be so targeted ? Or are these foods beneficial overall, *despite* killing off some of the good bacteria ?
    Thanks in advance for any advice. :-)

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