There is limited evidence that ginger ( shēng jiāng) powder consumption can relieve pain and inflammation because of its special phytochemical properties. This study is aimed at investigating the effect of ginger powder supplementation on some inflammatory markers in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. This is a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial with a follow-up period of 3 months that was conducted on 120 outpatients with moderately painful knee osteoarthritis. Patients were randomly divided up into two groups: ginger group (GG) or placebo group (PG). Both groups received two identical capsules on a daily basis for 3 months. Each ginger capsule contained 500 mg of ginger powder; the placebo capsules had 500 mg of starch in them. Serum samples were collected prior to and after the intervention and were stored at -70 °C until the end of the study. Serum concentration of nitric oxide (NO) and hs-C reactive protein (hs-CRP) were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of inflammatory markers (i.e., NO and hs-CRP) prior to the intervention. However, after 3 months of supplementation, serum concentration of NO and hs-CRP decreased in the GG. After 12 weeks, the concentration of these markers declined more in the GG than in the PG. Ginger powder supplementation at a dose of 1 g/d can reduce inflammatory markers in patients with knee osteoarthritis, and it thus can be recommended as a suitable supplement for these patients.
Keywords: C-reactive protein; Elderly; Ginger; Nitric oxide; Osteoarthritis.