Category: gastrointestinal health

The Health Benefits of Ginger(bread)

Every year I think I should get ambitious and make a gingerbread house from scratch – it still hasn’t happened. I thought a little information about the health benefits of ginger might motivate you and me to include more in our diets through other means like stir-fries and curry.

Here’s the scoop, ginger helps:

  • Prevent and soothe ulcers
  • Morning sickness and for motion sickness
  • Lower cholesterol and platelet clumping
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Prevent cancer

Sources:

Carcinogenesis. 2014 Jun;35(6):1320-9. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgu011. Epub 2014 Jan 15.
Enterohepatic recirculation of bioactive ginger phytochemicals is associated with enhanced tumor growth-inhibitory activity of ginger extract.
Gundala SR1, Mukkavilli R2, Yang C1, Yadav P3, Tandon V3, Vangala S2, Prakash S4, Aneja R5.

Food Funct. 2013 Jun;4(6):845-55. doi: 10.1039/c3fo30337c. Epub 2013 Apr 24.
A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe).
Haniadka R1, Saldanha E, Sunita V, Palatty PL, Fayad R, Baliga MS.

Advertisements

What are We Doing to Our Babies?

According to gastroenterologist Dr Eric Hassall, there has been an “enormous rise in the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in infants for presumed gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): In the 4 years from 2000 through 2003 there was at least a 4-fold increase, and in the 6 years from 1999 through 2004, there was a >7-fold increase. One of the PPIs, available in a child-friendly liquid formulation, saw a 16-fold increase in use during that 6-year period”.  “Of the few double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trials (DBRPCTs) of PPI efficacy for symptom relief in infants, none shows benefit.”

Furthermore, there are few safety data concerning PPIs for infants.  Why on earth do babies need such potent and potentially damaging medications?

PPI’s:

1.  Allow overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut

2.  Inhibit mineral absorption leading to poor bone and tooth development

3.  Higher prevalences of necrotizing enterocolitis in infants

4.  Acute gastroenteritis or community-acquired pneumonia in children

5.  Clostridium difficile infections

6.  Vitamin B12 deficiency, which, if long term, can lead to permanent neurological damage.

There are much healthier and safer ways to help babies who may be spitting up, fussy, colicky, crying a lot, gassy or otherwise showing symptoms of gastric distress.