Radioprotective Effects From Gingerol and Other Plant-Based Compounds
After getting “substantial attention” from researchers around the world, a clinical review confirms that ginger (Zingiber officinale) serves as a viable antidote and protective agent against fatal poisoning from such agents as pesticides, environmental pollutants, heavy metals, bacterial and fungal toxins and even some cosmetic products and medications.
Published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, the study acknowledges the protective effects of ginger and its phytochemicals against natural, chemical and radiation-induced toxicities. It also holds an “arsenal of metabolites” with numerous health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic (programmed cell death-inducing) properties.
Nutrition Facts discusses how compounds in ginger root protect white blood cells in vitro (a test tube or petri dish) against genetic damage caused by exposure to radiation as a cancer treatment. Scientists have been curious about the disease-preventative elements in of plant-based foods, and as Greger asserts, “lots of different plant products have been found to be protective in vitro against radiation damage by a whole variety of mechanisms.”
Ginger and its phytochemicals, including zingerone, have radioprotective effects. Studies on the mechanisms involved suggest its antioxidant compounds scavenge free radicals and fight inflammation while being anticlastogenic — protective against chromosome breakage or disruption. What is zingerone? “It’s a phytonutrient found in cooked ginger root. You blast cells with some gamma rays, and you get less DNA damage, and fewer free radicals, when you add ginger phytonutrients. They even compared it to the leading drug injected into people for radiation sickness, and found the ginger compound to be 150 times more powerful, and without the serious side effects of the drug itself.”