Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common chronic liver diseases worldwide. The pathogenesis of this disease is closely associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Ginger can have hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects, and act as an insulinsensitizer.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of ginger supplementation in NAFLD management.
Patients and methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 44 patients with NAFLD were assigned to take either two grams per day of a ginger supplement or the identical placebo, for 12 weeks. In both groups, patients were advised to follow a modified diet and physical activity program. The metabolic parameters and indicators of liver damage were measured at study baseline and after the 12 week intervention.
Results: Ginger supplementation resulted in a significant reduction in alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transferase, inflammatory cytokines, as well as the insulin resistance index and hepatic steatosis grade in comparison to the placebo. We did not find any significant effect of taking ginger supplements on hepatic fibrosis and aspartate aminotransferase.
Conclusions: Twelve weeks of two grams of ginger supplementation showed beneficial effects on some NAFLD characteristics. Further studies are recommended to assess the long-term supplementation effects.
Keywords: Ginger; Hepatic Steatosis; Inflammatory Biomarkers; Lipid Profile; Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.