• Bone histomorphometry;
  • Bone safety;
  • Estrogen deficiency;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Vanilloid channels


[6]-Gingerol, a major constituent of ginger, is considered to have several health beneficial effects. The effect of 6-gingerol on bone cells and skeleton of mice was investigated.

Methods and results

The effects of 6-gingerol on mouse bone marrow macrophages and osteoblasts were studied. 6-Gingerol-stimulated osteoclast differentiation of bone marrow macrophages but had no effect on osteoblasts. Capsazepine, an inhibitor of TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1) channel, attenuated the pro-osteoclastogenic effect of 6-gingerol or capsaicin (an agonist of TRPV1). Similar to capsaicin, 6-gingerol stimulated Ca2+ influx in osteoclasts. The effect of daily feeding of 6-gingerol for 5 wk on the skeleton of adult female Balb/cByJ mice was investigated. Mice treated with capsaicin and ovariectomized (OVx) mice served as controls for osteopenia. 6-Gingerol caused increase in trabecular osteoclast number, microarchitectural erosion at all trabecular sites and loss of vertebral stiffness, and these effects were comparable to capsaicin or OVx group. Osteoclast-specific serum and gene markers of 6-gingerol-treated mice were higher than the OVx group. Bone formation was unaffected by 6-gingerol.


Daily feeding of 6-gingerol to skeletally mature female mice caused trabecular osteopenia, and the mechanism appeared to be activation of osteoclast formation via the TRPV1 channel.