Elevated tissue levels of prostaglandin E2, produced by cyclooxygenase (COX), are an early event in colorectal cancer (CRC). Data suggest the efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as cancer preventives, in the inhibition of COX activity; however, side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pose unacceptable limitations. Ginger has been reported to have anti-inflammatory activities with significant CRC preventive potential. We investigated whether consumption of 2.0 g ginger daily regulated the level of two key enzymes that control prostaglandin E2 production, COX-1 and NAD-dependent 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Thirty participants at normal and 20 participants at increased risk for CRC were randomized and given 2.0 g/day ginger or placebo for 28 days. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was used to obtain colon biopsies at baseline and the end of the study. Tissue levels of COX-1 and 15-PGDH were assessed using western blotting. After ginger consumption, participants at increased risk for CRC had a significantly reduced colonic COX-1 protein level (23.8±41%) compared with the placebo group (18.9±52%; P=0.03). Protein levels of 15-PGDH in the colon were unchanged. In participants who were at normal risk for CRC, neither protein levels of COX-1 nor 15-PGDH in the colon were altered by ginger consumption. Ginger significantly lowered COX-1 protein expression in participants at increased risk for CRC but not in those at normal risk for CRC. Ginger did not alter 15-PGDH protein expression in either increased or normal-risk participants. Further investigation, in larger studies with a longer ginger intervention, is needed to examine the ability of ginger to impact tissue levels of prostaglandin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer Research