Approach root therapy gingerly warns Cancer Research UK

In collaboration with the Press Association

A recent study suggesting that ginger extracts were effective against ovarian cancer cells in a petri dish should not encourage cancer patients to stock up, Cancer Research UK has warned.

The report, from researchers at the University of Michigan, claimed that powdered root ginger had been shown to kill ovarian cancer cells during laboratory testing.

"This study doesn't mean that people should dash down to the supermarket and stockpile ginger," said Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK.

"We still don't know whether ginger, in any form, can prevent or treat cancers in animals or people. And there is always the possibility that eating lots of ginger or taking ginger supplements might interfere with chemotherapy or be harmful to health.

"Scientists have previously found that ginger extract can stop cancer cells growing in the lab so it is possible that a chemical found in ginger could form the basis of a new drug. But much more work is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions," he added.

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common form of the disease among women in the UK, with around 7,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

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