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Does ginger ale really cure nausea and upset stomach?

Many people around the world turn to ginger ale when they feel sick, but the fizzy drink may not be an effective method of treatment, according to medical and nutritional experts.

Ginger soda has long been said to be a cure for nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal ailments, although it’s unclear why people think soda has it. healing properties.

A 2019 investigation commissioned by Reed’s, Inc., a soft drink company, found that the ginger ale myth has been passed down from generation to generation.

The survey, which did not reveal its sample size, claimed that 86% of mothers said they heard about the idea of ​​ginger ale from their parents or grandparents.

Nearly nine in 10 mothers (88%) would have admitted to serving ginger ale to children and other family members to soothe an upset stomach.

Doctors and dietitians are ringing in to dispel the myth and explain what scientists know about ginger.

Freshly picked ginger root.
Tim Graham/Getty Images

A doctor reveals the truth about ginger ale

Liudmila Schafer, a gastrointestinal oncologist from Kansas City, Missouri, and founder of “The Doctor Connect” health show, told Fox News Digital that ginger beers on the market use artificial flavors instead of the real thing. ginger.

“Ginger ale consists of sugar-flavored water, which doesn’t help with nausea,” Schafer said.

She continued, “Ginger ale is high in carbohydrates, sugar, and calories, which is not recommended for diabetes or [those] who are predisposed to diabetes mellitus, which is a large population.

Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
Cans of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Creator John J. McLaughlin designed the soft drink to be less sweet than its competitors.
Light Rocket via Getty Images

Medical experts have found that servings of ginger “speed up emptying of the stomach” and “stimulate contractions known for motility” – how food moves through the stomach and digestive tract – which could give the impression that ginger ale helps a sick patient if there is real ginger in the drink, according to Schäfer.

Ginger, the phenolic phytochemical found in fresh ginger, is the compound that makes ginger an aid for nausea.

“Ginger stimulates saliva, bile and gastric secretions, which compete for serotonin 5-HT3 receptors, and this is why natural ginger helps with nausea but is very little known. [regarding] an upset stomach,” Schafer said.

Ginger supplements, she also warned, can increase a person’s risk of bleeding, which poses a danger to people taking blood thinners.

What you need to know about ginger root

Most brands of ginger ale sold in stores are made with ginger flavorings or extracts, Michelle Rauch, a dietician at The Actors Fund Home, an assisted living facility in Englewood, New Jersey, told Fox News Digital.

Ginger beer, on the other hand, tends to be made with ginger root, the spice plant that has been used in herbal remedies and supplements for centuries.

“Ginger root has long been associated with the treatment of nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms,” Rauch said.

“Most commercial ginger beers contain little or no real ginger,” she added.

Ginger, which is found in ginger root, has been shown to offer relief from nausea because the compound improves digestion by reducing the time food stays in the stomach and intestine, Rauch said.

If beverage consumers want a beverage with real ginger, Rauch said she recommends that they check a bottle or can of ginger ale to see if its nutrition panel illuminates whether ginger root is listed as an ingredient.

“Diet versions of ginger ale may contain sugar alcohols, such as mannitol and sorbitol, which can cause stomach upset and loose stools when taken in excess,” Rauch warned.

The Truth About Ginger Ale Vs Ginger

Most commercially available brands of ginger ale are made with “carbonated water, sugar, colorings and very little, if any, ginger extract,” said Jesse Feder, registered dietitian, trainer. staff and contributor to the My Crohn’s and Colitis Team. band.

“Overall, ginger ale won’t help an upset stomach,” Feder also told Fox News Digital.

“However, the relief from expelling carbonation from ginger ale can feel good and feel like it reduces bloating. It’s more of a placebo effect.”

Nicholas Dragolea, a young doctor from London, England, and founder of UK healthcare marketing network Noble Medical, told Fox News Digital that the carbonation of ginger ale can exacerbate gas and bloating.

“To get the most benefits from ginger, you can consider ginger ale with higher concentrations of ginger, or try alternative forms like ginger tea or smoothies,” said Dragolea, a bachelor’s degree holder. in Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

He continued, “From various studies, it is well established that ginger has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties.”


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