Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains a significant cause of mortality. Inhibitors of cyclooxygenase (COX) and thus prostaglandin E2, are promising CRC preventives, but have significant toxicities. Ginger has been shown to inhibit COX, to decrease the incidence and multiplicity of adenomas, and decrease PGE2 concentrations in subjects at normal risk for CRC. This study was conducted to determine the effects of 2.0g/d of ginger given orally on the levels of PGE2, leukotriene B4 (LTB4), 13-hydroxy-octadecadienoic acids, and 5-, 12-, & 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, in the colonic mucosa of subjects at increased risk for CRC. We randomized 20 subjects to 2.0g/d ginger or placebo for 28 d. At baseline and Day 28, a flexible sigmoidoscopy was used to obtain colon biopsies. A liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method was used to determine eicosanoid levels in the biopsies, and levels were expressed per amount of protein or free arachidonic acid (AA). There was a significant decrease in AA between baseline and Day 28 (P=0.05) and significant increase in LTB4 (P=0.04) when normalized to protein, in subjects treated with ginger versus placebo. No other changes in eicosanoids were observed. There was no difference between the groups in total adverse events (AE; P=0.06). Ginger lacks the ability to decrease eicosanoid levels in people at increased risk for CRC. Ginger did appear to be both tolerable and safe; and could have chemopreventive effects through other mechanisms. Further investigation should focus on other markers of CRC risk in those at increased CRC risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research