Gingerols in Grains of Paradise plant protect gorillas from heart disease by reducing inflammation and inhibiting production of C-reactive protein.

“The ultimate answer to captive gorillas’ heart problems may be quietly growing in West Africa’s vine-choked swamps: a member of the ginger family, Aframomum melegueta, better known as ‘grains of paradise.’ This plant, which wild western lowland gorillas preferentially eat, contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. As scientists learn more about the inflammatory process that underlies heart disease, the lack of Aframomum and other African plants in captive gorillas’ diets has emerged as a chief suspect in their poor health.” (Dybas and Raskin 2007:394)

Last Updated August 18, 2016