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Semwal, R., Semwal, D., Combrinck, S., Viljoen, A.M. 2015. Gingerols and shogaols: Important nutraceutical principles from ginger. Phytochemistry 117: 554-568.
Gingerols are the major pungent compounds present in the
rhizomes of ginger (Zingiber officinaleRoscoe) and are renowned for their contribution to human health and nutrition.
Medicinal properties of ginger, including the alleviation of nausea, arthritis
and pain, have been associated with the gingerols. Gingerol analogues are
thermally labile and easily undergo dehydration reactions to form the
corresponding shogaols, which impart the characteristic pungent taste to dried
ginger. Both gingerols and shogaols exhibit a host of biological activities,
ranging from anticancer, anti-oxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and
anti-allergic to various central nervous system activities. Shogaols are
important biomarkers used for the quality control of many ginger-containing
products, due to their diverse biological activities. In this review, a large
body of available knowledge on the biosynthesis, chemical synthesis and
pharmacological activities, as well as on the structure-activity relationships
of various gingerols and shogaols, have been collated, coherently summarised
and discussed. The manuscript highlights convincing evidence indicating that
these phenolic compounds could serve as important lead molecules for the
development of therapeutic agents to treat various life-threatening human
diseases, particularly cancer. Inclusion of ginger or ginger extracts in
nutraceutical formulations could provide valuable protection against diabetes,
cardiac and hepatic disorders.