Tag Archives: ginger

And what do osmomechanical stress, changes of temperature, chili powder, curry powder, ginger, Benicar, hormone D, steroids, and cannabinoids have in common?

// 7/1/16 addition: This post is for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which is not well understood, easy to diagnose or treat, and can be life threatening when more severe symptoms continue long term. The condition can continue for years or be a life long issue that flairs up at times and is less severe at other times.   http://www.news-medical.net/news/20160629/Treatment-for-IBS-proves-difficult-survey-reveals.aspx?platform=hootsuite

Dietary tips can be helpful but why some foods seem to trigger symptoms while others don’s has not been well understood either. The common factor underlying why some foods seem to be triggers for many people may be the TRP channels that are found in cells throughout the intestines and actually in most cells of most life forms. //

So what do osmo-mechanical stress, changes of temperature, chili powder, curry powder, ginger, Benicar, hormone D, steroids, and cannabinoids all have in common?

They all may be able to overstimulate Transient Receptor Potential channels (TRP channels) within the gastrointestinal system and cause severe diarrhea in susceptible individuals.

In many cases, the activation mechanism of TRP channels is unclear (Figure 1), but known activators include specific agonists such as mustard oil (TRPA1) and capsaicin (TRPV1), an increase in intracellular Ca2+ (TRPM4, 5), temperature (heat: TRPV1, 2, 3, 4, TRPM4, 5; cold: TRPM8, TRPA1), mechanical or osmotic stress (TRPV4, TRPCs?) and phospholipase C (PLC) activation. TRP channel activity can be further modulated by intracellular phosphatidylinositol phosphates, such as PI(4,5)P2 and membrane potential, but also by inflammatory mediators, cannabinoids and steroids (Nilius, 2007; Rohacs, 2007; Nilius and Voets, 2008).” [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3012403/]

The TRP channels are a large group found in many species of life from yeast, to worms, fish and mammels. The agonists/activating chemicals for many of the types of TRP channels have not all been identified as of yet. [http://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/content/75/6/1262.full]

One type of TRP channels were formerly called Vanilloid Receptors, and are now called TRPV channels. Vanilloid Receptors were known to be activated by capsaicin found in hot peppers and chili powder. And more recent or less well known research has also found that they can be activated by cannabinoids and steroids, (see the link from the excerpt above), and osmomechanical stress.

Osmo-mechanical stress might be a precursor to edema, excess fluid in the extracellular space; if an organ or cell over fills with fluid it would mechanically be adding physical pressure to the organ or cell — and instead of popping like an overfull water balloon the TRP channels open in response to the physical pressure and let the excess fluid leak out into the extracellular space or into the area surrounding the heart for example. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92821/] Fibrotic heart disease would be adding mechanical stretching stress within the heart. TRP channels are being studied for possible use in preventing fibrotic heart disease. From that research article, we are told that changes in temperature may also activate them:

The activation mechanisms of TRP channel are highly diversified. Some TRP channels appear to be constitutively active, whereas others are activated by Gq-linked receptor activation, oxidative stress, changes of temperature, or an elevation of intracellular Ca2+ [126128]. All the TRP channels appear to be regulated by PIP2 [134137] .” [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874073/]

PIP2 = phosphoinositides = phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) = phosphorylated deriviatives of phosphatidylinositol (PI) [http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.cellbio.21.021704.102317]

PIP2 = phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate and PI, and phospholipase C (PLC) from the first excerptare involved in cannabinoid metabolism within plasma membranes: [page 9 Kendall et. al., Behavioral Neurobiology of the Endocannabinoid System (Springer, 2009, New York)]

Steroids and hormone D function similarly. And Benicar and curcumin can function similarly to hormone D. And curcumin is a medically active extract from turmeric, a powdered spice that is a main ingredient in curry powder. Turmeric is made from the root of a plant that is biologically very similar to ginger,  which is also a root that is used as a dried spice or  may be used as a chopped vegetable in stir-fry dishes and other foods. Ginger has over 400 active phytochemicals, and one of them might be acting similarly to the curcumin — but that is speculation based on the similarity of symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that both ginger and curry powder stimulate.

Because — what else do osmomechanical stress, changes of temperature, chili powder, curry powder, ginger, Benicar, hormone D, steroids, and cannabinoids all have in common? — They all may irritate Irritable Bowel Syndrome, (IBS), for some people, along with emotional stress and other things like eating fructose in much quantity (example: from a piece of fruit or fruit juice) or gassy vegetables like cabbage and cruciferous vegetables and beans (gas would be adding mechanical pressure to those TRP channels which might be an over-active culprit in IBS patients).

The book, “Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome; Nutrition You Can Live With; Including Dozens of Healthful Mouth-Watering Recipes,” by Elaine Mager, M.P.H., R.D., includes dietary advice and other information about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). (Warning – most of the recipes contain gluten

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

A research study proposal; for clarity

To clarify a point from my last post, the cancer research I would like to see completed would be on the use of a vegan diet with ginger as a preventative or as a cancer treatment. Adding fluoride or bromide to 6-shogaol was simply an example of how other natural products have been made into chemicals that could be patented in the past.

The difficulty with designing clinical research studies is the ethics involved with substituting an experimental treatment for a treatment that has evidence supporting its value. A person with cancer is more likely to be allowed into experimental trials only after they have already been through other anti-cancer treatments that were unsuccessful – but which likely left their bodies in a weakened condition. Trying an experimental treatment as a first attempt would have to be with the patient’s understanding of the possible risks of not using the standard of care treatment instead. Maybe the standard treatment for the patient’s type of cancer provides the 22.5 months of survival on average but the experimental treatment wouldn’t have any history of clinical trials to offer as a comparison. So frequently the experimental treatments are only offered to patients whose cancer has returned or that had failed to respond to standard treatments.

Prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer that is frequently a benign problem compared to other types of cancer. It is said that more men die with prostate cancer than die from prostate cancer — and surgery in the area sometimes leaves men with worse problems so a watch and wait approach is being recommended more often. A diet based research study designed for patients in the watch and wait phase of prostate cancer treatment might be a reasonably ethical experimental design.

The experimental dietary treatment that I would propose would be based on a vegan diet, possibly with fish, and which is low in arachidonic acid rich foods and is not excessive in total calcium foods or supplements and which provides adequate amounts of CLA fats, [8, 12, 13] and with ginger powder daily, approximately a half teaspoon per day or equivalent ginger root cooked in food — or with an appropriate amount of the purified active compound, 6-shogaol. However, use of the whole root or ginger powder or mixed extract might provide other beneficial phytochemicals, from a summary I wrote years ago:

  • In humans, mice, and in petri dish studies, ginger has been found to inhibit the action of 5-LO from converting as much arachidonic acid into 5-HETE and slowing prostate cancer cell growth. [13]
  • *The cancer cells replicate human enzymes  that increase membrane breakdown and release of arachidonic acid which is then converted into a form the cancer cells can use as an energy source. The ginger extract stopped the step that would have converted the arachidonic acid into the form, 5-HETE, that could be used as a food source for the cancer cells. [13]  So adding ginger to the diet might make avoiding arachidonic acid containing foods less of an issue – but moderation is usually still a good idea. Arachidonic acid is an omega 6 fatty acid found in egg yolks,chicken, liver and animal fats. [14, 15] Arachidonic acid can also be formed out of linoleic acid which is found in seeds and nuts and most vegetable oils. [15]

Approximately a half teaspoon of ginger powder was the amount found helpful for reducing pain for arthritis patients, but I still haven’t found the exact reference link, sorry. A different study on muscle pain due to exercise found that two milligrams of ginger powder given daily prior to the episode of strenuous exercise (approximately 3/4 teaspoon, which was given in capsules) helped reduce the exercise induced muscle pain by 25%. [9, 10] Heat treatment of the ginger powder was not found to give any further reduction in muscle pain in that study however for cancer prevention heat treatment might be increasing the amount of the chemical that is active against cancer, 6-shogaol.

Clinical results that showed benefit for the men with prostate cancer in the watch-and-wait phase might than be preliminary evidence to support trying the treatment plan for men with more advanced stages of prostate cancer or for women with breast cancer — with their understanding of the potential risks of using an alternative treatment instead of the standard of care treatment.

As a nutrition focused member of a multi-disciplinary team I would count on other specialists to work out the details related to stages of cancer and assessment, etc.                  — no one works alone these days.

/Tangent: 6-shogaol and two other phytochemicals found in ginger have also been found to help promote bronchodilation in asthma patients.  [11]/

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. Information is not a substitute for individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./