Molecules of the Week

Gingerol, Shogaol, and Zingerone

November 21, 2011

Gingerol (correctly, [6]-gingerol) is the predominant phenol and most important of the pungent constituents in ginger oil. It was isolated by J. C. Thresh in 1879 from the rhizome of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale). It and its dehydrated analogue [6]-shogaol are the primary ginger-derived bioactive compounds. Shogaol and the fragmented molecule zingerone are produced when fresh ginger is heated or cooked. A recently synthesized azagingerol analogue increases metabolism in mice and may reduce the risk of obesity-associated diseases.

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