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Researching the Benefits of Ginger, Shirly Earns her Doctorate Cum Laude

1 August 2023

Oleh: Admin Pusat

Faculty of Medicine (FK) Untar lecturer dr. Shirly Gunawan, Sp.FK successfully earned a Doctorate of Biomedical Sciences with Cum Laude predicate in the open session of FK University of Indonesia (UI) in mid-June at IMERI Building, FK UI.

Shirly, who also serves as Head of the Professional Doctor Study Program at FK Untar, achieved a GPA of 3.99 with a dissertation entitled “Modulating Effects of 6-gingerol on Metabolic Syndrome Mouse Models: Focus on the Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Pathway”.

Shirly’s research began with the phenomenon of metabolic syndrome or commonly known as MetS. The number of people with MetS in Indonesia is currently increasing by 23%.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a metabolic disorder that is closely associated with an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DMT2). One important pathway mechanism that plays a role in the progression of MetS is endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress).

ER stress activates the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR), a protein mechanism that relieves stress and enhances cell adaptation and survival. If UPR cannot overcome ER stress, cell dysfunction will occur, which can lead to DMT2, dyslipidemia, and obesity.

“Currently, the treatment of MetS is polypharmacy (the use of too many types of drugs), thus affecting patient compliance in treatment. One alternative that can be developed is active compounds from ginger,” Shirly explained.

Ginger contains various substances and is known as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, neuroprotection, cardiovascular protection, and protection against airway disorders. One of the compounds contained in ginger is 6-gingerol. Shirly’s research looked at the modulating effect of these compounds on MetS through the ER Stress pathway.

The results of the study conducted on MetS mouse models showed that 6-gingerol has a role in improving MetS metabolic abnormalities. The substance showed positive effects, including reducing body weight, lowering blood glucose, and improving blood lipid profiles.

“This study is expected to be the basis for further research in developing 6-gingerol as one of the new drug candidates for MetS,” concluded Shirly. (AW/YS/AW)