Shogaol is a pungent ingredient and the major components in fresh ginger, the root of the Zingiber officinale plant. When compared to other pungent compounds, moderately hotter than piperine, but less than the capsaicin content in standard pepper spray.
It is the active compound found in ginger that is responsible for the spice’s natural anti-inflammatory properties, which gives it the ability to ease intestinal and digestive upsets.
Shogaol is an unsaturated phenolic ketone, which are substances that are used when the body breaks down fat for energy. It’s presence in the ginger root is synthesized by concentration of the zingerone and hexanal naturally found in the plant. Shogaol are produced through dehydrating the ginger root, either from long-term storage or heat drying.
The ginger rhizome found in it is used as a spice in many cuisines, in food, beverages and confections. Many commercially available over the counter supplements that claim to fight inflammation contain different levels of shogaol. Shogaol is an important component of traditional Eastern medicine culture, namely China, Japan and Indonesia, where it is used to treat indigestion, arthritis, motion sickness and nausea.
Studies indicate that shogaol is one of the major biologically-active compounds in the ginger rhizome, which is what is established during the dehydration process, and may contribute to its medicinal properties. Scientific evidence is mounting that shogaol’s anti-inflammatory properties may have a direct link to the phytochemicals and antioxidants found in ginger, which may give shogaol the ability to prevent heart disease, cancer and several other ailments.
Cancer studies at North Carolina Research Campus have shown that when metabolized by mammalian species the anti-inflammatory properties of shogaol may inhibit cancer cell growth. Related studies have shown that shogaol is effective in preventing anemia in patients with renal disease as well as cancer patients, when anemia is the result of the patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. Findings may also indicate that shogaol may be effective at preventing both lung and colon cancer. Further studies have shown shogaol to have a significant effect on breast cancer tumors in women, inhibiting the tumor cell’s ability to replicate.
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