Delay the Development of Cataracts

High blood sugar…it can create chronic health problems within the human body if it persists over a long period of time – one of which is diabetes.  Along with diabetes comes a host of health issues like neuropathy, kidney disease and conditions of the eye.  In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years of age.

One eye problem that arises among diabetics is cataracts.  A cataract is a clouding of the lens, which reduces the ability of the eye to focus and therefore impairs vision.  Surgery is the only treatment for cataracts.  The clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear, synthetic lens, improving vision.

Scientists have explored several natural products for potential preventative treatment of cataracts.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid-type compounds that have shown promise, and some evidence suggests that dark-colored fruits and vegetables with high levels of certain phytochemicals may lower risks for cataracts

Ginger is a natural product that has shown promise for a wide variety of health problems.  In addition to a culinary ingredient, ginger has been used as medicine for centuries.  Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have made ginger an effective natural remedy for nausea, diarrhea, stomachaches, toothaches and early symptoms of the common cold.  A recent study from India looked at ginger as a possible treatment for the prevention of cataracts

The research, published in the journal Molecular Vision, has shown that ginger may indeed slow the development and progression of cataracts – at least in animal models.  Researchers examined diabetic rats, giving one group a daily dose of ginger over a two-month period of time. 

It was found that ginger significantly reduced the development of AGEs (advanced glycation endproducts) in the eye lens of the rats.  AGEs have been linked to several diabetic health problems, including cataracts.  As a bonus, ginger also appeared to deter hyperglycemia-induced osmotic stress in the eye of the rat models.

This research may have important implications when it comes to preventative treatment for diabetics.  Here are a few more notable scientific findings for ginger:

Colon Cancer
Research from the University of Minnesota has shown that ginger may slow growth of colorectal cancer.

Ovarian Cancer
A study from the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan has determined that ginger may be helpful in the treatment of ovarian cancer.  In this study, ginger powder was applied to ovarian cancer cells and induced death in all cells treated.

Because of its obvious potential for helping to ensure good health, ginger is an inexpensive, natural product that may be a good investment for any consumer.  It can be found at your local grocery store in the spice aisle or in the produce section (ginger root), or you can find ginger in the form of a supplement at your local health food store or through natural supplement websites.

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20806076
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02915/Cataracts.html
http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-problems
http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/can_cataracts_be_prevented_000026_6.htm
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-ginger.html

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