Ginger Root (2001-2018) & Alzheimer's


Ginger root stimulates anti-Alzheimer activity, and researchers are investigating the mechanics of why.1 Fermented with Schizosaccharomyces pombe, it reduces memory impairment by protecting neurons in the hippocampus.2 Combined with peony root it inhibits amyloid beta accumulation and pathology in AD mice.3

In AD rat models of ginger root extract reverses behavioral dysfunction and reduces AD-like symptoms.4 In an in vitro study ginger extract increases cell survival in AD rat hippocampus and prevents formation of destructive oligomers.5 In biochemistry, an oligomer usually refers to a macromolecular complex. They give rise to Alzheimer's disease, and are small enough to spread easily around the brain, killing neurons and interacting harmfully with other molecules. How oligomers are formed and why is still not known.

Theoretical simulations of the mechanical process suggest that ginger acts as an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase and is as effective as donepezil.6 It increases neurogenesis, raises BDNF levels, enhances cognitive function, and helps in reducing amyloid beta plaque for those with Alzheimer's.7, 8, 9, 10 The role of ApoE4 in amyloid pathology is supported by evidence that it binds Aβ and modulates the aggregation and clearance of Aβ.11 Ginger extract inhibits beta-amyloid peptide-induced cytokine and chemokine expression in cultured THP-1 monocytes.12

One of the many health claims attributed to ginger is its purported ability to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. A dried ginger extract, [6]-gingerol,13 and a dried gingerol-enriched extract14 were each reported to exhibit analgesic and potent anti-inflammatory effects.15


1. Azam F, Amer AM, Abulifa AR, Elzwawi MM. (2014). Ginger components as new leads for the design and development of novel multi-targeted anti-Alzheimer's drugs: a computational investigation. Drug Des Devel Ther. Oct 23;8:2045-59.
2. Huh E, Lim S, Kim HG, Ha SK, Park HY, et al. (2018). Ginger fermented with Schizosaccharomyces pombe alleviates memory impairment via protecting hippocampal neuronal cells in amyloid beta(1-42) plaque injected mice. Food Funct. Jan 24;9(1):171-178.
3. Lim S, Choi JG, Moon M, Kim HG, Lee W, et al. (2016). An Optimized Combination of Ginger and Peony Root Effectively Inhibits Amyloid-B Accumulation and Amyloid-B-Mediated Pathology in ABPP/PS1 Double-Transgenic Mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(1):189-200.
4. Zeng GF, Zhang ZY, Lu L, Xiao DQ, Zong SH, et al. (2013). Protective effects of ginger root extract on Alzheimer disease-induced behavioral dysfunction in rats. Rejuvenation Res. Apr;16(2):124-33.
5. Mathew M, Subramanian S. (2014). In vitro evaluation of anti-Alzheimer effects of dry ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) extract. Indian J Exp Biol. Jun;52(6):606-12.
6. Cuya T, Baptista L, Celmar Costa Franca T. (2018). A molecular dynamics study of components of the ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract inside human acetylcholinesterase: implications for Alzheimer disease. J Biomol Struct Dyn. Nov;36(14):3843-3855.
7. Tchantchou F, Lacor PN, Cao Z, Lao L, Hou Y, et al. (2009). Stimulation of neurogenesis and synaptogenesis bilobalide and quercetin via common final pathway in hippocampal neurons. J Alz Dis. 18(4):787-98. 8. Yoo DY, Nam Y, Kim W, Yoo KY, Park J, et al. (2011). Effects of Gingko Biloba extract on promotion of neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus in C57BL/6 mice. J Vet Med Sci. 73(1):71-6.
9. Funakoshi H, Kanai M, Nakamura T. (2011). Modulation and alteration of anxiety-related behavior in tryptophan metabolism, promotion of neurogenesis and alteration of anxiety-related behavior n tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase-deficient mice. Intl J Tryptophan Res. 4:7-18.
10. Hou Y, Aboukhatwa MA, Lei DL, Manaye K, Khan I, et al. (2010). Antidepressant flavonols modulate BDNF and beta amyloid in neurons and hippocampus of double TgAD mice. Neurophamarcology. 58(6): 911-920.
11. Surh Y. J. Molecular mechanisms of chemopreventive effects of selected dietary and medicinal phenolic substances. Mutat Res. 1999;428(1-2):305-27.
12. Grzanna R, Phan P, Polotsky A, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. (2004). Ginger extract inhibits beta-amyloid peptide-induced cytokine and chemokine expression in cultured THP-1 monocytes. J Altern Complement Med. Dec;10(6):1009-13.
13. Young HY, Luo YL, Cheng HY, Hsieh WC, Liao JC, et al. (2005). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of [6]-gingerol. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;96(1-2):207-10.
14. Minghetti P, Sosa S, Cilurzo F, Casiraghi A, Alberti E, et al. (2007). Evaluation of the topical anti-inflammatory activity of ginger dry extracts from solutions and plasters. Planta Med. Dec;73(15):1525-30.
15. Marcus D. M, Suarez-Almazor M. E. (2001). Is there a role for ginger in the treatment of osteoarthritis? Arthritis Rheum. 2001;44(11):2461-2.