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Morning sickness: Ginger can reduce morning sickness in mothers-to-be

Australian researchers found ginger gel capsules as effective as vitamin B6

By Karen Richardson

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – Ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in reducing nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy, according to new research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The Australian research shows there are few side-effects from taking ginger and it appears to be safe for both pregnant women and fetuses.

The team from the University of South Australia conducted a small randomized, controlled study of 291 pregnant women at or before 17 weeks' gestation.

One group took one soft gel capsule of ginger (350 mg) three times a day for three weeks. The other group took one capsule of vitamin B6 (25 mg) three times a day for three weeks.

All of the women were between eight weeks' and 16 weeks' pregnant and had nausea and/or vomiting symptoms.

The researchers found that 53% of women taking ginger reported an improvement in their nausea and vomiting symptoms, compared with 55% of women taking vitamin B6. The study showed the overall risk of pregnancy complications did not differ between the two groups, and no difference was found in birth outcomes.

Earlier studies have also suggested that ginger is helpful in reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

Last year, Dr. Gideon Koren, director of the Motherisk program at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, and colleagues published a similar study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggesting ginger was safe, but only mildly effective.

Dr. Koren said the lack of efficacy demonstrated in their study might have been due to the various types of ginger used by their subjects, which ranged from teas to capsules.

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