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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 142979, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/142979
Review Article

Ginger and Its Constituents: Role in Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer

Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 29 October 2014; Revised 20 January 2015; Accepted 16 February 2015

Academic Editor: Eldon A. Shaffer

Copyright © 2015 Sahdeo Prasad and Amit K. Tyagi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, a cancer of different organs of the digestive system, is one of the most common cancers around the world. The incidence and death rate of some of these cancers are very high. Although a large variety of chemotherapeutic agents have been introduced since the last few decades to combat GI cancer, most of them are very expensive and have side effects. Therefore, the compounds derived from natural sources, which are considered to be safe and cost effective, are needed. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the most widely used natural products consumed as a spice and medicine for treating nausea, dysentery, heartburn, flatulence, diarrhea, loss of appetite, infections, cough, and bronchitis. Experimental studies showed that ginger and its active components including 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol exert anticancer activities against GI cancer. The anticancer activity of ginger is attributed to its ability to modulate several signaling molecules like NF-κB, STAT3, MAPK, PI3K, ERK1/2, Akt, TNF-α, COX-2, cyclin D1, cdk, MMP-9, survivin, cIAP-1, XIAP, Bcl-2, caspases, and other cell growth regulatory proteins. In this review, the evidences for the chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic potential of ginger extract and its active components using in vitro, animal models, and patients have been described.