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Ginger Settles Stomach for Chemotherapy Patients

May 25, 2009

People undergoing chemotherapy often receive drugs aimed at keeping them from vomiting after the treatments.

But the nausea associated with chemotherapy can still linger, making people miserable for days.

New research out of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center in Rochester, NY, finds taking small amounts of ginger prior to and immediately following a chemotherapy treatment can make a big difference. In their study, those who took the supplements for three days before and after the treatments reported significantly less nausea. The effect was strongest ““ a 40 percent reduction ““ among those who took the lower doses of 0.5 and 1 grams of ginger.

All the patients also took antiemetics ““ drugs used to reduce vomiting.

“Nausea is a major problem for people who undergo chemotherapy and it’s been a challenge for scientists and doctors to understand how to control it,” study author Julie L. Ryan, Ph.D., M.P.H., was quoted as saying. She believes the ginger used in her study may have an anti-inflammatory effect that dampens down the nausea.

About 70 percent of people undergoing chemotherapy are bothered by nausea and vomiting, making new treatments a priority for those who seek to ease the burdens of cancer care.

SOURCE: To be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, May 30, 2009




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