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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2008 Dec;63(6):807-13.

Ginger extract (Zingiber officinale) has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects on ethionine-induced hepatoma rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Medical Centre, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



To evaluate the effect of ginger extract on the expression of NFkappaB and TNF-alpha in liver cancer-induced rats.


Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups based on diet: i) control (given normal rat chow), ii) olive oil, iii) ginger extract (100mg/kg body weight), iv) choline-deficient diet + 0.1% ethionine to induce liver cancer and v) choline-deficient diet + ginger extract (100mg/kg body weight). Tissue samples obtained at eight weeks were fixed with formalin and embedded in paraffin wax, followed by immunohistochemistry staining for NFkappaB and TNF-alpha.


The expression of NFkappaB was detected in the choline-deficient diet group, with 88.3 +/- 1.83% of samples showing positive staining, while in the choline-deficient diet supplemented with ginger group, the expression of NFkappaB was significantly reduced, to 32.35 +/- 1.34% (p<0.05). In the choline-deficient diet group, 83.3 +/- 4.52% of samples showed positive staining of TNF-alpha, which was significantly reduced to 7.94 +/- 1.32% (p<0.05) when treated with ginger. There was a significant correlation demonstrated between NFkappaB and TNF-alpha in the choline-deficient diet group but not in the choline-deficient diet treated with ginger extract group.


In conclusion, ginger extract significantly reduced the elevated expression of NFkappaB and TNF-alpha in rats with liver cancer. Ginger may act as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent by inactivating NFkappaB through the suppression of the pro-inflammatory TNF-alpha.

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