Autoimmune conditions involve an overactive immune response where the body mistakenly attacks its own cells, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are structures released by neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) to capture and destroy pathogens. However, excessive NET formation can exacerbate inflammation and contribute to autoimmune disorders. Recent research suggests that Zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, may have a potential role in modulating NET formation and offering therapeutic benefits for individuals with autoimmune conditions.
Neutrophils are critical components of the immune system and play a vital role in defending the body against infections. NETs are web-like structures composed of DNA, proteins, and other molecules that neutrophils release to trap and neutralize invading microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses (Think Spider man catching a bad guy in his web!). While NETs serve as a defense mechanism, an excessive and uncontrolled formation of NETs can lead to tissue damage and chronic inflammation. In autoimmune conditions, NETs have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and vasculitis. These NETs can activate other immune cells and exacerbate the inflammatory response, contributing to the progression and severity of autoimmune diseases.
Recent research investigated the use of ginger on animal models of autoimmune conditions as well as its effects on healthy humans. Ginger supplementation in all groups lead to decreased NET formation, this data illuminates the molecular basis for a traditional medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Ginger does have potential to interact with some medications such as blood thinners, so please speak to one of the naturopathic physicians at Port Moody Health before adding ginger to your healthcare plan.Leave a reply