Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on inflammatory markers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Cytokine. 2020 Nov:135:155224. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2020.155224. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy of ginger supplementation on circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The search included PubMed-Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library databases to identify randomized clinical trials on the effect of ginger supplementation on circulation levels of CRP, hs-CRP, IL-6, sICAM, and TNF-α published up until February 1st, 2020. We did not restrict articles based on language of publication. Standard mean differences and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for net changes in inflammatory mediators using a random-effects model. Sixteen RCTs comprising 1010 participants were found to be eligible for this meta-analysis. There was a significant reduction of circulating CRP (SMD: -5.11, 95% CI: -7.91, -2.30, I2 = 98.1%), hs-CRP (SMD: -0.88, 95% CI: -1.63, -0.12, I2 = 90.8%) and TNF-α levels (SMD: -0.85, 95% CI: -1.48, -0.21, I2 = 89.4%) following ginger supplementation. However, meta-analysis results did not show any significant impact of ginger supplementation on IL-6 (SMD: -0.45, 95% CI: -1.29, 0.38, I2 = 89.2%), and sICAM levels (SMD: -0.05, 95% CI: -0.36, 0.26, I2 = 00.0%). This systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs demonstrates a significant impact of ginger in lowering circulating CRP, hs-CRP and TNF-α levels. Large-scale RCTs are still needed to draw concrete conclusions about the effect of ginger on other inflammatory mediators.

Keywords: C - reactive protein; Ginger; IL-6; Inflammation; TNF-α.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Zingiber officinale / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Preparations
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein