Protective and therapeutic potential of ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract and [6]-gingerol in cancer: A comprehensive review

Rosália Maria Tôrres de Lima, Antonielly Campinho dos Reis, Ag Anne Pereira Melo de Menezes, José Victor de Oliveira Santos, José Williams Gomes de Oliveira Filho, José Roberto de Oliveira Ferreira, Marcus Vinícius Oliveira Barros de Alencar, Ana Maria Oliveira Ferreira da Mata, Ishaq N. Khan, Amirul Islam, Shaikh Jamal Uddin, Eunüs S. Ali, Muhammad Torequl Islam, Swati Tripathi, Siddhartha Kumar Mishra, Mohammad S. Mubarak, Ana Amélia de Carvalho Melo-Cavalcante

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Natural dietary agents have attracted considerable attention due to their role in promoting health and reducing the risk of diseases including cancer. Ginger, one of the most ancient known spices, contains bioactive compounds with several health benefits. [6]-Gingerol constitutes the most pharmacologically active among such compounds. The aim of the present work was to review the literature pertaining to the use of ginger extract and [6]-gingerol against tumorigenic and oxidative and inflammatory processes associated with cancer, along with the underlying mechanisms of action involved in signaling pathways. This will shed some light on the protective or therapeutic role of ginger derivatives in oxidative and inflammatory regulations during metabolic disturbance and on the antiproliferative and anticancer properties. Data collected from experimental (in vitro or in vivo) and clinical studies discussed in this review indicate that ginger extract and [6]-gingerol exert their action through important mediators and pathways of cell signaling, including Bax/Bcl2, p38/MAPK, Nrf2, p65/NF-κB, TNF-α, ERK1/2, SAPK/JNK, ROS/NF-κB/COX-2, caspases-3, -9, and p53. This suggests that ginger derivatives, in the form of an extract or isolated compounds, exhibit relevant antiproliferative, antitumor, invasive, and anti-inflammatory activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885-1907
Number of pages23
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • anticancer activity
  • ginger extract
  • mechanism of action
  • [6]-gingerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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