Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. The purpose of the present study was to determine the response of pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) to short-term supplementation with ginger and exhaustive exercise in male athletes.
In a semi-experimental study, 40 male athletes were divided into 4 groups of control, supplementation, exercise, and supplementation with exercise (10 individuals each). Groups of supplementation and supplementation with exercise took two 500 mg capsules of powdered ginger per day for one week. Participants in exercise and supplementation with exercise groups performed Bruce test. Plasma levels of IL-6 and IL-8 were collected and measured before and immediately after the test. Data was analyzed using paired sample t-test and one-way analysis of variance.
No significant difference was found between plasma IL-6 and IL-8 in control group between pretest and posttest (P<0.05); however, plasma IL-6 and IL-8 increased significantly in exercise group and decreased significantly in supplementation and supplementation with exercise groups )P<0.05(. In addition, a significant difference was found between plasma IL-6 and IL-8 in the four groups (P<0.05), so that plasma IL-6 and IL-8 decreased significantly in supplementation and supplementation with exercise groups compared with control group, in supplementation group compared with exercise group, and in supplementation with exercise group compared with exercise group (P<0.05).
It appears that the consumption of ginger, as an anti-inflammatory supplement can have positive effect on the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, and IL-8, and thus the improvement of the immune system of male athletes.
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