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It’s a popular remedy for an unsettled stomach and the common cold, but a team of Bond University researchers are working to uncover whether quality evidence backs up the old wives’ tale.

PhD candidate and Master of Nutrition and Dietetics graduate, Megan Crichton has been leading the charge in the research, known as the GINGA GUT Study, under the supervision of members of the Bond University Nutrition and Dietetics Research Group.

The review is ongoing, but Megan says preliminary findings support the power of ginger for a number of ailments.

“Our soon to-be-published umbrella review has found that systematic reviews report ginger to benefit pain, metabolic disorders and gastrointestinal disorders,” says Megan.

“This includes osteoarthritic, menstrual and post-exercise muscle pain, as well as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and weight management, and nausea, vomiting, indigestion and gastrointestinal cancers.”

Master of Nutrition and Dietetics alumna and PhD candidate Megan Crichton

A double-blinded randomised placebo-controlled trial conducted at two of Brisbane’s major hospitals also suggest ginger supplements may have a positive effect on those suffering from nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

The results indicate there’s proof to the popularity of ginger’s use in traditional medicine, but researchers still have more to discover about why ginger can have medicinal effects, and who will find it most effective.

“We think that ginger may have its beneficial effects because of its influence on the gut microbiota, the bacteria that naturally live in the intestine,” says Megan.

“However, the effects of ginger on the gut microbiota has never been tested in human subjects before.”

The research team has recruited participants for the ground-breaking GINGA GUT Study, a trial exploring the effects on the gut microbiota of 50 healthy assets, with findings expected to be published later this year.

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