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The extract of the Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith (bitter ginger) is an effective counteragent to ethanol-induced brain damage

Researchers at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have looked at the effects of the ethyl acetate extract of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith (commonly known as bitter ginger) against ethanol-induced brain damage in mice. The study, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that the plant’s extract is an effective counteragent to ethanol-induced brain damage.

  • In the study, researchers randomly divided 24 mice into four groups: a control group; a group administered with 1.8 grams of ethanol per kilogram of body weight (g/kg); a group treated with 0.2 g/kg dose of Z. zerumbet extract and ethanol; and a group treated with 0.4 g/kg dose of Z. zerumbet extract and ethanol.
  • The Z. zerumbet extract treatments were orally given once a day for two weeks, 30 minutes before ethanol exposure.
  • Then, researchers conducted biochemical tests to evaluate blood and brain homogenate, and collected brain tissue samples for histological analysis.
  • Results revealed that although both doses of ethyl-acetate Z. zerumbet extracts significantly reduced the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl in the brain homogenate, the 0.4 g/kg dose was more effective in preventing ethanol-induced brain damage than the 0.2 g/kg dose. This may be attributed to the high amount of Zerumbone present in the extract. MDA is a biomarker of oxidative stress, while protein carbonyl is an indicator of protein damage after alcohol consumption.
  • Moreover, both doses of extracts reduced oxidative stress by dramatically increasing serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities and glutathione (GSH) level.
  • Results in the histological analysis revealed that Z. zerumbet extract inhibited the loss of Purkinje cells and maintained the amount and shape of the cells.

Overall, the findings of the study indicated that ethyl-acetate extract of Z. zerumbet contains protective activities against brain damage caused by ethanol.

For the full text of the study, go to this link.

Journal Reference:

Hamid A, Ibrahim FW, Ming TH, Nasroom MN, Eusoff N, Husain K, Abdul Latif M. ZINGIBER ZERUMBET L. (SMITH) EXTRACT ALLEVIATES THE ETHANOL-INDUCED BRAIN DAMAGE VIA ITS ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018; 18(101). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2161-5

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