Ginger components may enhance the relaxing effects of bronchodilators, helping them to breathe more easily, according to research presented at ATS 2013.
Investigators took human airway smooth muscle (ASM) tissue samples and caused the samples to contract by exposing them to acetylcholine. They then mixed isoproterenol with three separate components of ginger: 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol or 6-shogaol. Contracted tissue samples were exposed to each of these three mixtures as well as unadulterated isoproterenol and the relaxation responses were recorded and compared.
The discovered that tissues treated with the combination of purified ginger components and isoproterenol exhibited significantly greater relaxation than those treated only with isoproterenol. Of the three ginger components, 6-shogaol appeared most effective in increasing the relaxing effects of the beta-agonist.
“Taken together, these data show that ginger constituents 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol and 6-shogaol act synergistically with the beta-agonist in relaxing ASM, indicating that these compounds may provide additional relief of asthma symptoms when used in combination with ?-agonists,” said lead author Elizabeth Townsend, PhD, post-doctoral research fellow in the Columbia University Department of Anesthesiology.
“By understanding the mechanisms by which these ginger compounds affect the airway, we can explore the use of these therapeutics in alleviating asthma symptoms.”