Ginger is known to have a warming effect in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Chinese researchers have found protein regulatory networks behind this effect.
Researchers from Lanzhou University in China have searched for two main active ingredients in ginger, 6-gingerol and 6-shaogaol in medical literature and protein databases and identified targeted proteins or governed by these two compounds.
They then combined functional protein-protein and protein interactions to build a diagram of basic regulatory networks in the stomach and small intestine that can cause the body to react to ginger compounds.
Reported in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design , the researchers said there are five important metabolic processes involved in the warming effect of ginger.
Meanwhile, the two main bioactive compounds in ginger regulate adenosine triphosphate (ATP) , the main energy carrier in cells; glycogen, a type of glucose that stores energy in animals; glycolipid, a type of lipid to contribute energy and acts as a marker for cell recognition; coenzyme, a non-protein compound that binds enzymes to catalyze reactions; and fatty acids can help your body process cholesterol.
Researchers say their research provides insights that can complement the evidence base to support the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine.