Aza-6-Gingerol, an experimental ginger-based fat-loss drug

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    Aza-6-Gingerol, an experimental ginger-based fat-loss drug

    Aza-6-Gingerol, an experimental ginger-based fat-loss drug

    According to animal studies, but in a single human study as well, ginger has a mild slimming effect. This is mainly the work of the compound 6-gingerol. In 2011, Japanese researchers at Waseda University reported that they had modified 6-gingerol into a new compound that should work better.

    6-Gingerol inhibits enzymes in cells that convert nutrients into fat. In fat cells, it stimulates the production of adiponectin and inhibits the activity of TNF-alpha. As a result, not only in fat cells, but also elswehere in the body, 6-gingerol increases insulin sensitivity.

    At the same time, 6-gingerol raises body temperature via the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1. Capsaicin, the main active ingredient in red pepper, also works through this receptor.

    The downside of 6-gingerol is that it easily metabolizes. In the body, thanks to the hydroxyl group in its molecule, the substance easily changes to the less active 6-shogoal.

    That's why the Japanese made aza-6-gingerol. Aza-6-Gingerol is more stable than 6-gingerol, but still looks so much like 6-gingerol that it should work in the same way. The Japanese hoped.

    The researchers gave mice food for 90 days in which extra energy was hidden [HFD]. Of course, those animals became fatter than mice receiving standard food [RC]. A part of the fattened mice also received 6-gingerol [6G] through their food, and another part aza-6-gingerol [A6G]. If the mice had been human, they would have received 500-700 milligrams of 6-gingerol or aza-6-gingerol daily.

    The high-calorie food raised the insulin and leptin levels, but supplementation with both 6-gingerol and aza-6-gingerol prevented this.

    6-Gingerol kept the mice from becoming fatter, but aza-6-gingerol made the mice, despite their high-calorie diet, leaner than the mice that received standard food. Not bad.

    "Thus, our findings suggest that azo-6-gingerol possesses potential therapeutic value and could potentially reduce the risk of obesity-associated disease, including type 2 diabetes", the researchers summarize.

    "Further studies are being undertaken for achieving an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms underlying the glucose and lipid metabolism regulating activities of azo-6-gingerol."

    Source: J. Med. Chem. 2011, 54, 6295-6304.
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