Do you ever hear things like “drink lemon water to lose weight” and wonder if stuff like that is really true?

Ginger’s effects on cancers like leukemia are stoking interest in both the scientific community and with consumers, but what about obesity and metabolic syndrome?

You may be tempted to think that ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe, Zingiberaceae) is one of those things that people say helps you with metabolism, but is too good to be true…

Au contraire!

A new review notes that recent studies (epidemiological and clinical) hold a consensus that ginger has beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and related disorders.

This group is more commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome.

The review is published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

According to a press release by Wiley, ginger creates this benefit by:

Regulating fat metabolism
Suppressing carbohydrate digestion
Modulating insulin secretion, sensitivity and response
Inhibiting oxidative stress
Ameliorating inflammation
Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
Other studies suggest its beneficial effect on hypertension
The researchers say:

These beneficial effects are mediated by transcription factors, such as peroxisome proliferator–activated receptors, adenosine monophosphate–activated protein kinase, and nuclear factor κB.

Gee, did you get all that?

Wiley reports that studies have also identified the mechanisms and cellular molecules involved, but frankly, it’s all a bit above this writer’s head.

I’m just glad that ginger has a proven benefit on blood sugar, pressure and insulin – and as a result, obesity and metabolic syndrome. I can live with that kind of spice in my life.

Caution: ginger does lower blood pressure and blood sugar, so please consult your preferred healthcare practitioner on supplements or amounts.