Eating ginger regularly may suppress the negative effects of a high-fat diet

Consuming ginger or taking ginger extracts regularly may help prevent some of the negative effects of a high-fat diet, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients. The study found that ginger intake prevents body weight gain and body fat in rats fed with a high-fat diet.

Carried out by Korean researchers, the study aimed to determine the impact of ginger root extract on obesity and inflammation in rats fed a high-fat diet. For the study, the researchers used two types of ginger extracts: high-hydrostatic pressure extract of ginger and hot water extract of ginger – both of which were provided by the Korea Food Research Institute.

In conducting the study, the researchers used 27 rats that were divided into three groups. Each group was fed a high-fat diet, a high-fat diet with hot water ginger extract, or a high-fat diet with ginger extracted with high-hydrostatic pressure. This intervention lasted for 10 weeks. Additionally, the researchers measured the body weight and food intake of the rats twice a week using a digital scale.

After the intervention period, the researchers looked at the serum, liver, and epididymal adipose tissue of the rats.

The results showed that rats treated with ginger extracted with high-hydrostatic pressure and hot water ginger extract showed improvements in gene activity and inflammation. However, the ginger extracted with high-hydrostatic pressure group exhibited better improvements in gene activity and weight gain suppression compared to the hot water ginger extract group. Rats in the high-hydrostatic pressure ginger extract group had lower body weight and white fat mass compared to the rats fed with a high-fat diet only.

“[Ginger extract] would be useful for application as a functional food for the prevention of obesity and inflammation,” suggest the researchers.

The study authors suggest that these beneficial effects of ginger extract supplementation may be attributed to the volatile oils gingerols and shogaols present. These volatile oils also give ginger its pungent odor.

Dangers of following a high-fat diet

While ginger provides some protective effects against eating high-fat foods, this does not mean that you should continue eating high-fat foods. Different studies have shown that adhering to a high-fat diet is dangerous to your health. Here is a list of what it does to your health:

  • It alters your red blood cells (RBCs): A study conducted by researchers at the Medical College of Georgia revealed that eating a fatty meal negatively affected the arteries, increased myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels (which can damage arteries), and changed the shape of RBCs from round disks to a spiky appearance, which is more likely to clump and clot. These can lead to heart attacks.
  • It causes blood clots: Several studies have shown that eating one fatty meal can contribute to blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and pulmonary embolism.
  • It damages your arteries: According to various studies, a single high-fat meal can damage the arteries and reduce blood flow in people with Type 2 diabetes and even in healthy people.
  • It reduces insulin sensitivity: In a study on healthy individuals who consumed a meal of palm oil, which is rich in saturated fat, it was shown that a single high-saturated fat meal can reduce insulin sensitivity. Reduced insulin sensitivity can cause fatty lipids to be stored in the liver.
  • It promotes the release of bacterial toxins: Eating a single meal rich in saturated fat also promoted the release of endotoxins in the bloodstreams. Endotoxins are harmful bacterial components that can cause obesity and the hardening of the arteries when released into the blood. Research shows that eating a high-fat meal is worse than smoking three cigarettes in promoting the release of endotoxins. (Related: A high-fat diet encourages the growth of fungi in the gut, which makes for an unhealthy microbiota and contributes to obesity, study finds.)
  • It reduces testosterone levels: A high-saturated fat meal can also greatly reduce total and free testosterone levels in healthy men, according to a study.

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