Aim: To evaluate the effects of ginger on gastric motility and emptying, abdominal symptoms, and hormones that influence motility in dyspepsia.
Methods: Eleven patients with functional dyspepsia were studied twice in a randomized double-blind manner. After an 8-h fast, the patients ingested three capsules that contained ginger (total 1.2 g) or placebo, followed after 1 h by 500 mL low-nutrient soup. Antral area, fundus area and diameter, and the frequency of antral contractions were measured using ultrasound at frequent intervals, and the gastric half-emptying time was calculated from the change in antral area. Gastrointestinal sensations and appetite were scored using visual analog questionnaires, and blood was taken for measurement of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), motilin and ghrelin concentrations, at intervals throughout the study.
Results: Gastric emptying was more rapid after ginger than placebo [median (range) half-emptying time 12.3 (8.5-17.0) min after ginger, 16.1 (8.3-22.6) min after placebo, P≤0.05]. There was a trend for more antral contractions (P=0.06), but fundus dimensions and gastrointestinal symptoms did not differ, nor did serum concentrations of GLP-1, motilin and ghrelin.
Conclusion: Ginger stimulated gastric emptying and antral contractions in patients with functional dyspepsia, but had no impact on gastrointestinal symptoms or gut peptides.
Keywords: Abdominal ultrasound; Antral contraction; Functional dyspepsia; Gastric emptying; Ghrelin; Ginger (Zinger offinale); Glucagon-like peptide-1; Motilin.