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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 17;55(21):8390-7. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

Ginger and its bioactive component inhibit enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin-induced diarrhea in mice.

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Graduate Institute of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Biochemistry, Graduate Institute of Chinese Medical Science, Department of Microbiology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan.


Ginger is one of the most commonly used fresh herbs and spices. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin (LT)-induced diarrhea is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries. In this study, we demonstrated that ginger significantly blocked the binding of LT to cell-surface receptor G M1, resulting in the inhibition of fluid accumulation in the closed ileal loops of mice. Biological-activity-guided searching for active components showed that zingerone (vanillylacetone) was the likely active constituent responsible for the antidiarrheal efficacy of ginger. Further analysis of chemically synthesized zingerone derivatives revealed that compound 31 (2-[(4-methoxybenzyl)oxy]benzoic acid) significantly suppressed LT-induced diarrhea in mice via an excellent surface complementarity with the B subunits of LT. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence that ginger and its derivatives may be effective herbal supplements for the clinical treatment of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli diarrhea.

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