Sarcopenia is an age-related disease that leads to an increasing reduction in muscle mass and strength. As we age, we tend to lose muscle and our ability to move also deteriorates. In a previous article we saw that adequate levels of vitamin C can help to counter this condition, today we see the results of another scientific research that observes how ginger can be one more weapon against sarcopenia. This article was published a few months ago in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Nur Fatin Nabilah Mohd Sahardi et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2020).
Over the years, the presence of free radicals increases in the body, altering the ability of particular types of cells, called myoblasts, to differentiate and to form muscle fibers. Muscle tissue can no longer regenerate and muscle mass is lost, this is what happens in sarcopenia. Ginger is a spice that, based on previous scientific research, has already been shown to fight free radical damage. Not only that, ginger is also anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic and antibacterial, it fights the accumulation of beta amyloid proteins, the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. However, until today, no studies had been performed on the effect of ginger on sarcopenia. In the laboratory, myoblasts were put in contact with ginger extracts. What emerged is that ginger acts by counteracting the senescence of the cell, that is, its aging process with subsequent loss of its functions. At the same time, ginger increases the regeneration capacity of muscle tissue. This protective effect of ginger is due to its two active ingredients, 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol, with a powerful antioxidant, cardioprotective, antitumor and anti-diabetes action.
The study did not analyze the effect of ginger taken through herbal tea or with food. Other research will have to follow to investigate this aspect too, but it is still clear that ginger is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient, capable of counteracting the oxidative stress that causes various age-related diseases, including sarcopenia. So, a sprinkling of ginger on vegetables, fruit or even fish can only be a healthy choice.