I was disappointed to some new, rather bad nutrition content on the UK Government’s Science: So What? So Everything website: there is some unfortunate discussion of turmeric, ginger and cancer. Science: So What states that
The warm kick of ginger comes from three types of volatile oils found in the root of the plant: zingerone, shogaols, and gingerols. In a joint study done by scientists in Korea, China, and the USA, and published in the journal Cancer Research in 2009, gingerol was found to have a preventative effect against colorectal cancer.
However, interesting as the results are, the article seems (I can’t access the full text) to be based on in vitro research and research using nude mice. All perfectly valid research – but doesn’t necessarily mean that the gingerol will have anti-cancer properties for humans.
Science: So What also play up the potential health benefits of curcumin (one of the constituents of turmeric). However, they unfortunately fail to mention concerns about the limited bioavailability of curcumin when taken orally (something discussed on this blog and elsewhere).
There is a lot that the Government could do to encourage and support good science communication. Sadly, this isn’t it.