Cardiovascular Effects

In vitro studies of gingerol using canine cardiac tissue and rabbit skeletal muscle demonstrated Ca2+-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activation in the cardiac and skeletal sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) (31). Gingerol (3-30

^M) increased Ca2+-ATPase pumping rate in a dose-dependent manner. A 100-fold dilution with fresh saline solution of 30 ^M gingerol completely reversed Ca2+-ATPase activation. The investigators concluded that gingerol may be a useful pharmacological tool in the study of regulatory mechanisms of the SR Ca2+ pumping systems, and their effect on muscle contractility.

Another in vitro study examined the effect of 6-, 8-, and 10-gingerol on isolated left atria of guinea pigs (32). The study found the gingerols had a dose-dependent positive inotropic effect that was evident at doses as low as 105, 10-6, and 3 x 10-5 g/mL for 6-, 8-, and 10-gingerol, respectively. Thus, 8-gingerol was the most potent gingerol in regard to cardiotonic activity.

In vitro, aqueous ginger extract has dose-dependent antithromboxane synthetase activity that correlates with its ability to inhibit aggregation of human platelets in response to adenosine diphosphate, collagen, and epinephrine (27). However, this may not be clinically significant; inhibition of platelet aggregation has been demonstrated in humans only after consumption of 5 g of raw ginger daily for 1 week (33). A single 2-g dose of dried ginger did not affect platelet function (34).

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