Shengmin Sang, PhD, associate professor and leadscientist in functional food for NC A&T State University’s Center for Excellence in Post Harvest Technologies, published four peer-reviewed articles this year that further the understanding of the chemopreventive potential of ginger.
Sang’s most recent findings concentrate on shogaol metabolites and lung and colon cancer prevention. Shogaols are the dehydrated products of gingerols. Gingerols are the major components in fresh ginger, the root of the plant Zingiber officinale. Gingerols and shogaols have long been recognized as two of the bioactive compounds in ginger responsible for the spice’s ability to ease digestive upsets.
“Our research goal is to identify bioactive natural products from functional foods or herbal medicine that can be used to prevent chronic disease focusing on cancer and metabolic syndrome related diseases such as obesity and diabetic complications,” Sang explained. “We want to understand the chemical profiles of compounds in our food, how our body metabolizes them and whether they are bioactive. We want to know how much we need to eat to get the most benefits or what kind of formulation we need to make them therapeutically beneficial. We’re talking about personal nutrition.”