How Ginger Affects Adult Weight and Body Shape: A Detailed Review

Greg Howard
25th January, 2024

How Ginger Affects Adult Weight and Body Shape: A Detailed Review

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Ginger, a common kitchen spice, could play a role in weight management and might impact various measurements that reflect our body's fat content. Researchers from Islamic Azad University in Iran have delved into this topic by pooling data from various studies to better understand ginger's potential effects. Through a process known as a meta-analysis, where results from multiple studies are combined and analyzed together, the researchers focused on randomized controlled trials—a type of study considered the gold standard in medical research. They hunted down articles that investigated how ginger consumption affected body weight, BMI (a ratio comparing weight to height), waist circumference (a measure of belly fat), and percentage of body fat. From their search, they selected 27 different trials that included a total of 1,309 adults. Each of these studies examined the changes in these body composition measurements after participants included ginger in their diets over a certain period. After crunching the numbers, the researchers found a noticeable trend. On average, ginger intake was linked to a modest decrease in body weight by about 1.5 kilograms (roughly 3.3 pounds), a drop in BMI by 0.58, a reduction in waist size by just over 1 centimeter (less than half an inch), and a small decrease in the percentage of body fat. Furthermore, the analysis suggested that the impact of ginger might not be straightforward. It appears the dose of ginger and the length of time it's consumed affect its potential weight-loss benefits. Specifically, around 2 grams of ginger per day seemed to be the sweet spot for reducing body mass, and the most notable effects were observed when ginger was consumed for longer than 8 weeks. However, the certainty of these findings isn't rock-solid. The varying quality of the included studies means that this is more of an intriguing hint than a definitive conclusion. Given the very low to low confidence in these results, the researchers caution that we can't yet bank on ginger as a fail-safe for weight loss or body fat reduction. The authors call for more rigorous studies—meticulously designed and executed research—to confirm or question their findings. So, for now, while ginger might have some potential benefits for your waistline, it's not guaranteed, and more robust research is needed to solidify these early observations.



Main Study

1) Ginger intervention on body weight and body composition in adults: a GRADE-assessed systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of 27 randomized controlled trials.

Published 22nd January, 2024

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