A preliminary study from the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Florida , suggests that people with osteoarthritis of the knee may be able to reduce symptoms of the disease by consuming highly concentrated ginger extract.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive deterioration in the cartilage of certain joints, including the knee and vertebrae. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, osteoarthritis results from overuse of joints and can be a by-product of strenuous sports, obesity or aging. Currently, there is no cure for osteoarthritis and treatment largely focuses on the reduction of symptoms.
In the study, 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who were experiencing moderate to severe pain were split into two groups. One group took purified, concentrated ginger extract while the other group was given an inactive placebo pill. Sixty-three percent of patients taking ginger reported a reduction in knee pain while standing, compared with 50% of those who took the placebo. Those taking ginger also reported less pain after walking 50 feet.
While there were no serious side effects reported in patients who took the ginger extract, 70% of them reported mild gastrointestinal discomfort, including burping, stomach upset and heartburn.
Despite this encouraging news, experts believe that ginger should not be recommended at present for treatment of arthritis because of the limited effectiveness shown in this study and the lack of meaningful information about its safety.
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