Mutagenicity

A study showed that 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol isolated from Z. officinale using column chromatography were mutagenic at 700 ^M in the Hs30 strain of Escherichia coli (35). 6-Gingerol was noted to be a potent mutagen whereas 6-shogaol was less mutagenic. Another study documented the antimutagenicity of zingerone, another ginger component, in addition to the mutagenicity of gingerol and shogaol in Samonella typhimurium strains TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1538, and TA 98 (36). Gingerol and shogaol activated by rat liver enzymes at doses of 5-200 ^g/plate mutated strains TA 100 and TA 1535, whereas zingerone was nonmutagenic in all four strains. Zingerone also suppressed the mutagenicity of gingerol and shogaol in a dose-dependent manner. Although all three compounds are similar in chemical structure, zingerone has a shorter side chain than the mutagenic compounds; thus the side chains may be responsible for the mutagenic activity of gingerol and shogaol.

Pyrolysates of cigarettes, fish, and meats have been found to have potent carcinogenic capability. Research in Japan (37) found evidence that vegetables, such as cabbage and ginger, contain antimutagenic factors that suppress mutagen-esis. Another study suggests that ginger juice contains more antimutagenic than mutagenic substance(s), and thus has the capability to suppress mutagenesis by the contained pyrosylates (38).

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