NCRC scientists discover ginger might treat anemia
KANNAPOLIS — N.C. Research Campus scientists have discovered ginger is a potential treatment for anemia.
Dr. TinChung Leung of N.C. Central University and Dr. Shengmin Sang of N.C. A&T State University, both scientists at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, collaborated on a series of studies that established ginger as a potential treatment for anemia commonly caused by chemotherapy or renal disease.
Leung and Sang tested the effects of ginger on zebrafish embryos.
They added ginger extract to the water of transparent embryos, which allows their biologic activity to be easily viewed under a microscope.
Noticing an increase in red blood cell circulation as a result of the extract, the scientists conducted additional experiments with transparent zebrafish embryos with red blood cells that glow under ultraviolet light.
They purified individual compounds in ginger and tested each one on zebrafish embryos with chemically-induced anemia. Sang and Leung noticed the embryos exposed to 10-gingerol, one of the active small molecules in ginger, were able to recover by producing more red blood cells.
They presented their initial findings last month at the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting. They are continuing their research using the zebrafish model along with mouse studies to understand the full potential of ginger as a therapeutic treatment for anemia.