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J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2016 Apr;9(2):80-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Effect of Two Ginger Varieties on Arginase Activity in Hypercholesterolemic Rats.

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Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure, Nigeria; Department of Biochemistry, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. Electronic address:
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure, Nigeria.
Departamento de Farmácia Industrial, Programa de Pós Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Recently, ginger has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an herbal therapy for treating several cardiovascular diseases, however, information on its mechanism of action is limited. The present study assessed the effect of two ginger varieties (Zingiber officinale and Curcuma longa) on the arginase activity, atherogenic index, levels of liver thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs), and plasma lipids in rats fed with a high-cholesterol (2%) diet for 14 days. Following the treatment period, it was found that feeding a high-cholesterol diet to rats caused significant (p < 0.05) increases in arginase activity, atherogenic index, levels of TBARS, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGs), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) with a concomitant decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). However, both ginger and turmeric (2% and 4%) caused significant (p < 0.05) decreases in arginase activity and the atherogenic index, and prevented hypercholesterolemia by decreasing the TC, TGs, and LDL-C while increasing the HDL-C when compared with the controls. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with both types of rhizomes (ginger and turmeric) inhibited arginase activity and prevented hypercholesterolemia in rats that received a high-cholesterol diet. Therefore, these activities of ginger and turmeric represent possible mechanisms underlying its use in herbal medicine to treat several cardiovascular diseases.


Curcuma longa; Zingiber officinale; arginase activity; herbal therapy; hypercholesterolemia

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