Ginger protects against Statin Liver Damage

An increased risk of moderate or serious liver dysfunction is an adverse effect of statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia).  This risk increases where high doses are taken, and fluvastatin and atorvastatin in particular appear to have the strongest association with hepatitis and liver failure.  However liver dysfunction appears to be a rare but potentially serious adverse effect for all statin types, and other statins such as simvastatin, pravastatin and lovastatin have also been associated with liver injury when taken in high doses.

Previous studies have shown that long term ingestion of Ginger can have hypoglycaemic, hypolipidaemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects in test subjects.  Hepato (liver) protective effects have also been reported with ginger and these effects may extend to chemo-preventative effects against hepatocellular carcinoma.

A team of Egyptian researchers have recently evaluated the effects of combined administration of Ginger and the statin drug atorvastatin on the lipid profile and atorvastatin induced hepatic injury.  Atorvastatin alone showed a 15% decrease in cholesterol levels and a 23% decrease in triglycerides.  Ginger alone produced a 11% decrease in cholesterol and a 5% decrease in triglycerides.  Combined (atorvastatin & ginger) showed a decrease in cholesterol of 28% and a 25% reduction in triglycerides.

Atorvastatin showed increases in serum aminotransferases, MDA (hepatic malondialdehyde) and NO (nitric oxide), indicating negative effects on the liver.  In those given Ginger, MDA and NO levels were decreased and activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes ‘Superoxide Dismutase’ and ‘Catalase’ were increased.  Showing a decreased lessening of the extent and severity of signs of liver damage.

This study showed that Ginger extract could be an advantageous combination treatment to atorvastatin, and possibly other statin drugs, especially those more susceptible to liver damage.

At Naturalus we have 2 teas to help, use combined or separately:

Liver Tea
Ginger Tea