Ginger, Vitamin B6 and Nausea in Pregnancy.

Date:

21-Apr-2004

Source

Obst Gynecol

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Ginger Vitamin B6 Nausea and Vomiting
Professional Data: Ginger Vitamin B6 Nausea and Vomiting

Article

Several studies have reported that pyridoxine can reduce nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. In one study, 31 women took 25 mg of vitamin B6 orally every 8 hours for 72 hours, while an additional 28 pregnant women received a placebo. In women with severe nausea, those taking vitamin B6 experienced significantly better improvement in nausea scores compared to the women taking the placebo. However, there were no significant differences between treatment and placebo groups in cases of mild to moderate nausea. Women taking vitamin B6 also had a much greater improvement in vomiting after 3 days of therapy.1

Ginger has been used throughout history as both a culinary herb and a medicinal agent. Ginger has gained attention in the United States because of its effect on motion sickness, nausea and as an aid in digestion. Derivation of a standardized extract of ginger is from the rhizome. Ginger is best known for its ability to lessen the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. In fact, studies have found that it may be more effective than drug alternatives for many conditions and situations that make the stomach feel unsettled. In addition, a double-blind, controlled clinical study reported that the use of ginger for treatment of nausea in pregnancy was found to decrease the number of events as well as lessening the severity of nausea.2

A recent study compared the effects of ginger in morning sickness to vitamin B6. This study involved 291 women, all less than 16 weeks pregnant. The women received either 1.06 grams of ginger or 75 mg of vitamin B6 for three weeks. Nausea and vomiting were recorded on days 1, 7, 14, and 21 of the study. When compared to the first day of the study, ginger and vitamin B6 equally reduced retching, nausea, and vomiting. The authors concluded that, “For women looking for relief from their nausea, dry retching, and vomiting, the use of ginger in early pregnancy will reduce their symptoms to an equivalent extent as vitamin B6.”3

References

1. Sahakian V, et al. Vitamin B6 is effective therapy for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Obstet Gynecol. Jul1991;78(1):33-6.
2. Vutyavanich T, Kraisarin T, Ruangsri R. Ginger for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. Apr2001;97(4):577-82.
3. Smith C, et al. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Ginger to Treat Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy. Obst Gynecol. April 2004; 103:639-645.