May be a safe and effective way of calming nausea and vomiting related to radiation sickness at appropriate dosing and schedule
Radiation sickness is caused by exposure to high doses of ionization radiation over a short period of time. Radiation sickness can vary from the acute to the deadly, from radiation therapy to cancer patients to accidental nuclear reactor releases at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the intense and prolonged Fukushima release caused by the recent tsunami in Japan.
Radiation sickness can vary from the acute to the deadly. Early symptoms include nausea and vomiting, headaches, fatigue, and skin reddening. Severe complications include leukopenia (low white blood cells), CNS dysfunction and death.
Ginger for Radiation Sickness
Ordinary ginger (Zingiber officinale, Roscoe) could mitigate or eliminate at least some of these radiation sickness symptoms.
It is widely believed (and studies have corroborated it) that consumption of ginger can calm an upset stomach, aid digestion and alleviate nausea associated with motion sickness, morning sickness or chemotherapy. So, in cases of radiation sickness, dietary supplements, such as Zindol® DS, could be used to quell ensuing nausea.
Research studies concluded that when mice were treated with a hydro-alcoholic extract of ginger before irradiation, the ginger in their bodies scavenged DNA-damaging, tumor- and cancer-causing free radicals caused by irradiation (Jagetia et al., 2003 and 2004).
In 2005 and 2006, teams of researchers learned that ginger extract has the ability to modulate radiation-induced Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA) (Sharma et al., 2005). This study also indicated that ginger extract has tremendous potential for clinical applications in the mitigation of radiation-induced emesis (vomiting) in humans (Haksar et al., 2006).
Recent studies have also suggested that ginger can enhance the efficacy of conventional cancer treatments. For instance, in 2006 a two-part series on “Natural Health Products That Inhibit Angiogenesis” (Sagar et al., 2006) was published documenting how researchers screened and evaluated herbs and phytochemicals for anti-angiogenic activity.
Angiogenesis is the physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. This is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing and in granulation tissue. However, when any cells in the body replicate repeatedly, unnecessarily and uncontrollably, it indicates the presence of cancer. So, in this case, inhibition of angiogenesis, or anti-angiogenic activity, is desirable.
In this study, 6-gingerol was listed as one of the bioactive substances of Z. officinale (Sagar et al., 2006). During active cancer therapy, the bioactive substances should generally be evaluated in combination with chemotherapy and radiation. In this role, they act as modifiers of biologic response or as adaptogens, potentially enhancing the efficacy of the conventional therapies.
Research conducted in 2009 indicated that dietary ginger offered radioprotection at the biochemical level to rats by protecting antioxidant enzymes, reducing lipid peroxidation (LPO) and inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol (Nabil et al., 2009). It also found that retreatment with ginger reduced the oxidative stress in the animals and protected the liver enzyme-cholesterol-7σ hydroxylase from being denatured.
In a study conducted in 2010, researchers found that Zingiber officinale protects HaCaT cells and C57BL/6 mice from ultraviolet B-induced inflammation (Guahk et al., 2010). Treatment with ginger attenuated UVB-induced hyperplasia, infiltration of leukocytes and dilation of blood vessels in the dermis of mice. The study concluded that Z. officinale, gingerol and shogaol show potential as anti-inflammatory agents to protect skin against UV irradiation damage.
Zindol for Radiation Sickness
Zindol® DS, with appropriate dosing and schedule, may be a safe and effective way of calming nausea and vomiting related to radiation sickness. Zindol® DS may also act as a potential protectant against radiation sickness.
- Guahk G, Ha S, Jung H, Kang C, Kim C, Kim Y and Kim S. (2010). Zingiber officinale protects HaCaT cells and C57BL/6 mice from ultraviolet B-induced inflammation. J Med Food. 13(3): 673-80.
- Haksar A, Sharma A, Chawla R, Kumar R, Arora R, Singh S, Prasad J, Gupta M, Tripathi R, Arora M, Islam F and Sharma R. (2006). Zingiber officinale exhibits behavioral radio-protection against radiation-induced CTA in a gender-specific manner. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 84(2): 179-88.
- Jagetia G, Baliga M, Venkatesh P and Ulloor J. (2003). Influence of ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale Rosc) on survival, glutathione and lipid peroxidation in mice after whole-body exposure to gamma radiation. Radiat Res. 160(5): 584-92.
- Jagetia G, Baliga M and Venkatesh P. (2004). Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.), a dietary supplement, protects mice against radiation-induced lethality: mechanism of action. Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 19(4): 422-35.
- Nabil G, Atef M, Elhag A and Elhag M. (2009). Radioprotective effects of Dietary Ginger (Zingiber Officinale Rosc.) Against Fast Neutron-induced Oxidative Stress in Rats. World Applied Sciences Journal. 6(4): 494-498.
- Sagar S, Yance D and Wong R. (2006). Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer-Part 1. Curr Oncol. 13(1): 14-26.
- Sagar S, Yance D and Wong R. (2006). Natural health products that inhibit angiogenesis: a potential source for investigational new agents to treat cancer-Part 2. Curr Oncol. 13(3): 99-107.
- Sharma A, Haksar A, Chawla R, Kumar R, Arora R, Singh S, Prasad J, Islam F, Arora M and Kumar Sharma R. (2005). Zingiber officinale Rosc. modulates gamma radiation-induced conditioned taste aversion. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 81(4): 864-70.