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Ginger - A very potent appetite suppressant?

ginger maoi

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#1 sub7

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 12:49 PM


I have always been intrigued by ginger and recently did some self-experimentation with two forms:

ginger powder

crystallized ginger

 

I am not aware whether either of these above forms of ginger are in any way superior to the raw version. However, these two kinds are far easier and more convenient to use than, for example, boiling the raw plant. So I went with those...

 

First of all, ginger is potent stuff IMO. Too much of it causes an unmistakable nausea. When I first tried the powder, I took one and a half heaping teaspoon and got so nauseous and  lightheaded that I had to pull over the car and recollect myself for a moment; very seriously I felt that driving in that condition could be unsafe.

Smaller doses of either the powder or the crystallized form also cause mild nausea and, more importantly, almost completely eliminate the sensation of hunger.

 

Does anyone know why this might be? I vaguely recall some research indicating the potential weight loss benefits from ginger and the MOA was a reduction in hunger. But through what mechanism does ginger reduce hunger? I was under the impression that ginger and curcumin were close cousins and exerted most of their cognitive effects by way of MOA inhibition. But I also thought that curcumin was quite a bit stronger. However, I never had either appetite reduction or nausea from curcumin, even some large doses combined with pepper never did so (but curcumin gives intense focus and nice libido boost). So there is some difference it appears in what ginger vs cucrumin do.

Could ginger's effects be through peripheral dopaminergic stimulation? It appears some of the effects are very similar to the side effects of old-fashioned dopamine agonists, such as Cabergoline and Bromociptine. Those drugs too, cause a very similar type of nausea and appetite loss. Could ginger also do something similar?

And of course, much more importantly, what influence on health and well-being can be expected from long term ginger use?

 

Any input is much appreciated....



#2 gamesguru

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 07:16 PM

Once had a similar experience on half a tablespoon of psyllium husk. Got awfully sick within 30 minutes, sweating, dry heaves, etc. Never vomited, kept it down, but felt awful, like I had just eaten 5 bowls of oatmeal, for like 6 hours. Haven't touched psyllium since, been getting my soluble fiber from more normal foods.

 

Curcumin does more for the brain than MAO inhibition. Ginger hasn't caused me nausea (although I never did more than ½ tsp. powder, and my usual form is a dilute homemade brown-sugar gingerale), ginger even relieves nausea; turmeric causes nausea in higher doses, so I take only ¼ tsp. Turmeric didn't affect my appetite, but ginger seems to reduce it by 400 cals, that's what drew my attention here. Perhaps ginger reduces appetite by improving digestion. More digestion means more nutrient uptake, signalling the brain that the body is adequetely fed and to reduce food cravings.



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#3 sub7

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 08:15 AM

In my particular case, at least, the MOA is not better digestion.

I have always taken these things in the morning on an empty stomach and haven't eaten for many many hours to come (I practice IF).

 

In general, I would also be very skeptical of the "appetite suppression by way of increased nutrition uptake" hypothesis anyways.

 

Your experience with psyllium husk.is pretty unusual also; any way it was perhaps contaminated? Ever had a similar reaction to it thereafter?



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#4 Gerrans

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:00 PM

My theory is that all natural foods regulate appetite, and therefore taking one in concentrated amounts could conceivably suppress appetite. Since I began eating only natural foods, I have never felt hungry or had food cravings. It eventually occurred to me to put this down to factors in the co-evolution of animals and plants.

 

I think substances in foods trigger various peptides, etc., that regulate how much we eat. When I have read about the various hormones and other substances that our body sends out to signal satiation, I have been struck by how many different ones there are, arriving at different rates all along the digestive tract--so many, in fact, that I wonder if they are triggered by various nutrients in food (as well as by distension, etc.). I do not think scientists have even begun to discover the full extent of appetite-regulatory triggers in foods, and so any attempt to build diet schemes on the basis of a few hormones, such as leptin, ghrelin, or whatever, seems to me simplistic.

 

Maybe plants contain appetite-suppressing substances so that an animal will give up eating them before there is nothing left. The plant can then survive by what remains. This might apply particularly to roots, such as turmeric and ginger. I doubt we could eat much of the raw roots before we had to stop, but eating concentrated forms of them by the spoonful perhaps maximises the effect.


Edited by Gerrans, 16 January 2015 - 02:57 PM.


#5 Gerrans

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 02:32 PM

 

Curcumin does more for the brain than MAO inhibition. Ginger hasn't caused me nausea (although I never did more than ½ tsp. powder, and my usual form is a dilute homemade brown-sugar gingerale), ginger even relieves nausea; turmeric causes nausea in higher doses, so I take only ¼ tsp. Turmeric didn't affect my appetite, but ginger seems to reduce it by 400 cals, that's what drew my attention here. Perhaps ginger reduces appetite by improving digestion. More digestion means more nutrient uptake, signalling the brain that the body is adequetely fed and to reduce food cravings.

 

That paper confirms what I have noticed myself, which is that satiation is associated with the thermic effect of food. At first I did not understand this, because I had assumed that if food is burning intensely, we would need more of it. But, after reading around the subject, I came to see that satiation results when the body is busy with digestion. A high thermic effect means that the body is doing a lot of work; and so the satiation signal arises to slow down the further consumption of food before the system is overwhelmed. That might explain why protein is so filling. But though I have never eaten ginger in high quantities, I can imagine that, as a food which creates a thermogenic effect, it might send satiating signals to the brain.

 

I find I feel satiated quickly when I eat a lot of fat. I did not know why that was, because I had read that fat is the easiest macronutrient to digest. But then I read that carbohydrate and protein are prioritised for digestion, while fat has, so to speak, to wait in the queue. This can lead to its mounting up in the upper reaches of the digestive tract, triggering hormones that tell the brain to stop eating. Again, I think the principle is that when the digestive process has its hands full, it sends out signals to reduce input.

 

In my opinion, no matter how good ginger is for us, the effect is unlikely to be increased by eating large quantities of it. I doubt we need more than a sprinkle of it in food (I take it in mixed spice). For someone who is intermittent fasting, perhaps the appetite suppression it induces is useful. But I doubt eating spoonfuls of it will produce more health benefits than eating a little. The same goes for most spices, in my opinion. I think they are adaptogenic, and therefore their effect is unlikely to be enhanced by eating very high amounts of them.


Edited by Gerrans, 16 January 2015 - 03:00 PM.


#6 gamesguru

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:03 PM

The only relevant study was concerning the anti-serotonergic effect of ginger, and to attribute the appetite suppression to that effect is highly speculative, far more speculative than the first study I posted about thermal regulation; I couldn't find anything concerning dopamine.  Whatever the mechanism, I haven't eaten a breakfast in 8 or 9 days, and might drop the gingerale altogether as I need to intake the extra food; I'm only 140 pounds at 5'11", and I'm slightly deficient in potassium, calcium, magensium, vitamin D, as well as some trace minerals.

 

As for the psyllium, I had just purchased it that day so a contamination is unlikely. If you are not used to taking psyllium, it is best to begin with a low dose (½  tsp. in 8 oz. water), then increase to 2 tsp. 

Here are the typical side effects of an overdose: difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, constipation, cramps, rectal pain, skin rash, and itching. Long term effects include formation of duodenal bezoars.

I get 2-5g soluble fiber from my diet...hope to never touch psyllium again, not even a ½ tsp.

 


Edited by gamesguru, 16 January 2015 - 06:06 PM.


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#7 Luminosity

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 06:18 AM

I love ginger and take it in many forms, but if anything, it seems to stimulate my hunger.  Ginger can be irritating.  Don't overdo.  I've never heard of it being used to stop hunger, which is normal human feeling.  Don't try to "drug" it out of yourself.

 

Different people would take to different amounts and types of ginger at different times.  It's too spicy for some.  In Chinese Medicine, ginger would have different energetic effects, depending on how it's taken.  At times these effects can undesirable for certain people.  In some cases, it could make some skin problems worse, for instance, or contribute to some joint pain in certain people.  Ginger on an empty stomach could have a different effect, and sometimes not a good one.  It's best to take a thing like this in a normal, traditional manner.  Seek balance.  I would use ginger as a spice or condiment in its different forms as agrees with you. Don't overdo.  Spicy food late at night is a bad idea.

 

There's ginger snaps, fresh ginger used as a spice or tea, pickled ginger with sushi, candied ginger which can be chopped up and added to plain whole milk yogurt as a flavoring.  You can grate ginger and soak it in water, then strain to make a juice.  This is very strong.  Use sparingly.  I've seen it mixed with water and sweetener to make a drink.  I've put it in iced tea.  You can use it a recipe in place of fresh ginger.  I've made a hair rinse out of it.  Invigorating.   I've placed it in bath water with baking soda and sea salt, or black tea concentrate.  There is Galangal, which I think is Indian ginger (or Thai).  It's different.  There's young ginger, which is wonderful.  

 

Have fun with it.  Respect it, and respect your body.   


Edited by Luminosity, 17 January 2015 - 06:20 AM.

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