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Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans

Wu, Keng-Lianga; Rayner, Christopher K.b; Chuah, Seng-Keea; Changchien, Chi-Sina; Lu, Sheng-Nana; Chiu, Yi-Chuna; Chiu, King-Waha; Lee, Chuan-Moa

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: May 2008 - Volume 20 - Issue 5 - p 436-440
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3282f4b224
Original Articles: Gastric Motility

Objective Ginger has been reported to improve upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Little information about the effects of ginger on gastric motor function, exists, however. Our aim was to investigate the effects of ginger on gastric emptying, antral motility, proximal gastric dimensions, and postprandial symptoms.

Methods Twenty-four healthy volunteers were studied twice in a randomized double-blind manner. After an 8 h fast, the volunteers ingested three ginger capsules (total 1200 mg) or placebo, followed after 1 h by 500 ml low-nutrient soup. Antral area, fundus area and diameter, and the frequency of antral contractions were measured using ultrasound at frequent intervals over 90 min, and the gastric half-emptying time was calculated from the change in antral area. Gastrointestinal sensations and appetite were scored using visual analog questionnaires. Data are expressed in terms of mean±standard error.

Results Antral area decreased more rapidly (P<0.001) and the gastric half-emptying time was less after ginger than placebo ingestion (13.1±1.1 vs. 26.7±3.1 min, P<0.01), whereas the frequency of antral contractions was greater (P<0.005). Fundus dimensions did not differ, and there was no significant difference in any gastrointestinal symptoms.

Conclusion Ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers. These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient groups.

aDivision of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

bDiscipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia

Correspondence to Keng-Liang Wu, Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medi, 123. Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Sung Hsiang, Kaohsiung Hsien, Kaohsiung, 83301, Taiwan

Tel: +886 7 7317123 x 8301; fax: +886 7 7322402;


Received 2 July 2007 Accepted 21 November 2007

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.