Does Ginger Help With Weight Loss?

There is a reasonable amount of evidence that ginger can have some positive effects when it comes to weight loss. There are far more studies on the spices effects on joint health, but there’s enough here that it’s worth looking into further.

Now, we’re not going to say that ginger is going to be a silver bullet when it comes to losing weight. But, several of the active compounds inside the spice (most notably gingerols and shogaols have been shown to have some effects on fat metabolism and insulin resistance, meaning that ginger could well have an impact on helping you lose weight.

Studies on Ginger and Weight Loss

Numerous studies have investigated the effects of ginger on weight loss and the results have been relatively inconsistent. The most often cited meta analysis was only able to find 14 high quality studies, [1] there have since been 3 more high quality studies by our count, but they don’t really change the findings of the previous analysis.

And that is that ginger intake has in fact demonstrated a notable reduction in body weight and markers of blood glucose metabolism. This is of course as long as enough ginger was actually consumed and this is usually around  grams or more, unless you’re using a specialized extract.

In one of the more recent studies that didn’t make the meta analysis, that it seems almost everyone cites, overweight men who consumed ginger experienced increased feelings of fullness and enhanced thermogenesis (or heat production from calorie burning). [2]

These findings suggest that ginger may help control appetite and boost calorie expenditure, potentially contributing to weight loss. This was most effective when added to exercise due to the previously mentioned increased thermogenesis.

Ginger and Gene Expression

Recent research has also explored the effects of ginger on gene expression related to carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. To put it in laymen’s terms how well your body breaks down carbs and fat. Although this is still relatively early in the research stages and currently done on animals it is still of interest as it could explain the mechanisms in which ginger seems to work. This could lead to researchers being able to isolate the exact compounds in ginger which have this effect with certainty.

In a study conducted on rats, ginger water, a byproduct obtained during the freeze-drying of ginger rhizomes, was found to downregulate the expression of enzymes that stored fats, whilst upregulating those that broke them down. This was particularly noticeable in the liver, suggesting it could have some help for liver issues as well as just breaking down fat.

Ginger with Other Ingredients

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another ingredient that has been associated with weight loss. When combined with ginger, ACV can enhance the antiglycemic and antioxidant effects of both ingredients. It is important to note that ACV should be consumed in moderation and diluted with water to avoid potential side effects.

Caffeine mixed with ginger can add to the combined thermogenesis as well as caffienes appetite suppression effects

Green tea, known for its metabolism-boosting properties, can also be combined with ginger to potentially enhance weight loss efforts. The two ingredients can be brewed together or consumed separately throughout the day.

Ginger For Weight Loss Side Effects

Pregnant women should limit their ginger intake to no more than 1 gram per day, while the general public should not exceed 4 grams per day. Ginger may also increase the risk of bleeding, so it is important to stop taking ginger at least 1-2 weeks before any planned surgical procedures.

In general however ginger is considered safe for most people with side effects mostly limited to mild nausea. 

References

1 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29393665/

2 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023345/

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