Background: Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that develop in the uterus [1,2]. They have been and still are a major reproductive threat to women of child-bearing age especially to those of the African race [3,4]. Ginger has been reported to have anti-tumor, anti-cancerous, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects .
Aim: To determine the effects of aqueous ginger extract on Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)-induced uterine fibroid in adult female wistar rats.
Study Design: The present study involved the administration of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) to induce uterine fibroid and the preventive and curative effects of aqueous ginger extract on this as seen physically, gross morphologically and histologically. While hormonal measures were carried out to assess the effects of MSG in inducing uterine fibroid in the adult female wistar rats; molecular, macroscopic and microscopic parameters, amongst others, were assessed to evaluate the effects of ginger extract as a preventive and/or curative agent.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Anatomy, Benjamin S. Carson (Snr.) School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria between January 2017 and May 2017.
Methodology: Acclimatization lasted 10 days, after which oral administration of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Aqueous ginger extract ensued to determine the prophylactic (Ginger extract for 25 days, followed by MSG for 25 days) and curative (MSG for 25 days, followed by ginger extract for 25 days) effects of ginger on MSG-induced uterine fibroid in adult female wistar rats. Administration lasted 50 days, after which the experimental animals were sacrificed via cervical dislocation, gross anatomical images were captured, uteri specimens were weighed, fixed in 10% formal saline for histological analysis, and molecular studies were also carried out on the uterus to assay Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2).
Results: Uterus of induced animals showed abnormal gross morphology (i.e., uterine fibroid), histology, abnormally high MMP2 levels, increased weight; however the prophylactic and high-dosed curative treatment with ginger extracts mitigated these effects, i.e., ginger extract both prevented the onset of fibroid and ameliorated the effects of MSG thereby reducing fibroid volume.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggests that ginger can be used as a preventive and curative agent against uterine fibroid and may offer a non-surgical therapy of treating women with fibroids, whilst contributing greatly to knowledge.