Background: Ginger is widely used as a medicine in the Ayurvedic system. It contains the active compound gingerol, which scavenges free radicals. Prolonged intake of aluminum (Al) in drinking water and from other sources may lead to neurological, renal, and hepatic dysfunction.
Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of gingerol, an active principal of ginger against aluminum as Al (NO3)3 -induced toxicity in rats.
Methods: Al (NO3)3 at 32.5 mg/kg body weight was administered to female albino rats intraperitoneally once only, followed by treatment with gingerol at 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg p.o. for 3 consecutive days beginning 24 h after Al exposure. Animals of all of the groups were sacrificed after 48 h of the last gingerol treatment for experimental observations.
Results: Significant elevations were observed in serum tranaminases, cholesterol, triglyceride, creatinine, urea, and blood δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) after Al exposure. In liver, kidney, and brain tissues, the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) level and total and esterified cholesterol were significantly increased, whereas glutathione (GSH), acetyl cholinesterase (AChE), and δ-aminolevulinic acid synthetase (ALAS) were significantly decreased. Treatment of gingerol for 3 days surprisingly reversed almost all of the biochemical variables toward control levels in a significant manner.
Conclusion: Treatment with gingerol (50 mg/kg body weight) was most effective in coping with aluminum-induced toxicity in rats. The antioxidant activity of gingerol might be due not only to the radical scavenging activity of antioxidants but also to the affinity of these antioxidants to the substrates.