Obesity is a very important cause of many chronic diseases. One of the ways to control weight and obesity is to have regular physical activity and the use some medicinal herbs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ginger supplementation per se and in combination with high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the anthropometric indices and serum levels of irisin in obese men.
Sixty-four obese men, aged 20 to 35 years were randomly assigned into 4 groups for 10 weeks: Group 1) ginger supplement, Group 2) ginger supplement+training, Group 3) training+placebo, and Group 4) placebo. Individuals in groups 1 and 2 (ginger and ginger+training), received three ginger capsules (1 g daily) and subjects in groups 3 and 4 (training group+placebo) and placebo groups received the same amount of placebo capsules with each meal. Participants in the ginger+training and training+placebo groups participated in a HIIT protocol for 10 weeks. Data on anthropometric measurements, serum irisin levels and dietary intakes were collected at the beginning and at the end of the study.
The ginger intervention per se, reduced body fat percentage within groups (P=0.001). In ginger+training and training+placebo groups significant decreases were observed in anthropometric indices including weight, body fat percentage, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, compared to the placebo group (P<0.05). No significant difference was observed in serum levels of irisin in any of the studied groups at the end of interventions (P>0.05).
HIIT exercises alone and in combination with ginger were effective in improving anthropometric indices.