Aim: To undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies to determine the effect of ginger supplementation on serum C-reactive protein (CRP), lipid profile, and glycaemia.
Method: PubMed-MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Database, and Google Scholar databases were searched (up until July 2016) to identify prospective studies evaluating the impact of ginger supplementation on serum CRP. Random-effects model meta-analysis was used for quantitative data synthesis. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using the leave-one-out method. Heterogeneity was quantitatively assessed using the I2 index. Systematic review registration: CRD42016035973.
Results: From a total of 265 entries identified via searches, 9 studies were included in the final selection. The meta-analysis indicated a significant reduction in serum CRP concentrations following ginger supplementation [weighted mean difference (WMD)-0.84 mg/L (95% CI -1.38 to -0.31, I2 56.3%)]. The WMD for fasting blood glucose and HbA1c was -1.35 mg/dl (95% CI -2.04 to -0.58, I2 12.1%) and -1.01 (95% CI -1.28 to -0.72, I2 9.4%), respectively. Moreover, high-density lipoprotein and triglyceride significantly improved after ginger administration [1.16 mg/dl (95% CI 0.52 to 1.08, I2 12.3%) and -1.63 mg/dl (95% CI -3.10 to -0.17, I2 8.1%), respectively]. These findings were robust in sensitivity analyses. Random-effects meta-regression revealed that changes in serum CRP levels were independent of the dosage of ginger supplementation (slope -0.20; 95% CI -0.95 to 0.55; p=0.60).
Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that ginger supplementation significantly reduces serum CRP and improves glycaemia indexes and lipid profile. Randomized control trials with larger sample size and with a longer-term follow-up period should be considered for future investigations.
Keywords: C-reactive protein; fasting blood glucose; ginger; lipids; meta-analysis; supplementation.