- Ginger may benefit weight loss, but more research is needed on its use for obesity management.
- A few studies on ginger indicate there may be a small impact on satiety and weight management.
- Consuming ginger may help to support a regular exercise routine which may aid in weight loss.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Worldwide, ginger has been used both as a spice and a component of traditional medicine for thousands of years. It has been shown to possess a variety of health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-nausea properties, and some research indicates ginger may also help with weight loss.
Ginger’s medicinal benefits come from two major types of bioactive compounds:
- Gingerols, which are found in fresh ginger are known as gingerols.
- Shogaol, which is in ginger that’s been dried or heat-treated.
Most research around the weight loss benefits of ginger is in animal models. The limited research conducted on humans is mostly small studies that may not be relevant to the general public.
Here’s what the research says about how effective ginger may be for weight loss, weight maintenance, and other metabolic and cardiovascular-related processes.
Helps with satiety
In a small 2012 study, 10 men consumed 2 grams of dried ginger powder dissolved in hot water after eating breakfast. The results showed the subjects felt fuller longer after they drank the ginger beverage.
In addition, when the subjects ingested the ginger drink, they experienced an increased caloric burn of 43 kcal after the meal compared to the control water-only beverage. However, this research is limited because it was an acute experiment, with measurements occurring after having only one ginger drink, as opposed to a long-term study.
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, a nutrition researcher at Columbia University and co-author of this study says these results indicate ginger may have an impact on a person’s ability to lose weight, for instance, if they drink a sugar-free ginger beverage in place of a sugary one.
May help fat burn
A small 2019 study in South Korea gave 80 obese people steamed ginger ethanolic extract — which is more potent in shogaol than regular ginger — or a placebo to see if ginger helped to reduce body fat.
Although both groups were told to follow their typical diets, the study found the group that ingested the ginger extract lost more body fat than the control group. This suggests a ginger supplement may facilitate weight loss even without other dietary changes.
Might decrease insulin secretion
A 2018 review showed ginger had no impact on insulin levels but did decrease insulin resistance, which can be a factor in mitigating symptoms of type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence that maintaining weight loss is linked to improved insulin sensitivity.
May help with weight management
The same 2018 review also showed that ginger consumption is associated with decreased bodyweight, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting glucose, although there was no change to BMI.
Could help with inflammation
In animal experiments, ginger has exhibited anti-inflammatory properties. In human clinical trials, more research is needed, but one small study shows those who consumed ginger experienced less inflammatory pain after exercise than a placebo group.
Because obesity is a chronic state of inflammation, Burridge says consuming ginger may help to support a regular exercise routine which may aid in weight loss.
Drawbacks of ginger
There are few drawbacks to consuming ginger, as long as you are not allergic to it. That said, there is no research on which form of ginger, such as pickled, powdered, or raw, is optimal for weight loss in humans.
Burridge warns that in most studies, the quantities tested are only a few grams, so people should use caution with dosage and consult a healthcare professional when adding it to their vitamin and supplementation routine.
“I am concerned that people spend so much money on supplements that they think are going to really help them,” says Burridge, “but they may only have a minimal effect.”
While a small body of limited research suggests that ginger may benefit weight loss, more research is needed on how effective it is for weight loss and obesity management.
The limited clinical studies indicate there may be a small impact on satiety, body fat, and weight management.
“I would say it’s unlikely to have a major effect, but I’m also one who thinks every little bit helps,” says St-Onge.