The Canada Dry cancer cure?

A low dose of ginger, the equivalent of just a quarter-teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger per day, seemed to give the best results, when combined with traditional anti-nausea drugs.

UPDATE: Many people are upset by the title. They dismissed the question mark at the end of it. It refers to a previous story about Cheerios claiming to be heart-healthy.

A claim that Cheerios prevents heart attack stands on poorer science than a claim that ginger ale cures cancer. The ability to withstand chemotherapy is the key to survival for many patients and ginger seems to help do that.

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Let me start with a confession.

I am not at all surprised by news that ginger can help deal with the nausea of chemotherapy.

When I was a kid, and my tummy was hurting, I always reached for a bottle of Canada Dry ginger ale, which my parents kept on hand as a mixer during poker nights.

(They might have been drinking ginger ale and bourbon, shown here from Food Network.)

This was especially useful after I had scarfed up all the leftover potato chips, peanuts, and chocolate they also left at the table. I did this quietly so as not to waken my sisters or brother, who might also want some.

I don't know whether I was getting the real stuff, or if you would get the real stuff from Canada Dry brand ginger ale, because ginger ale makers are secretive about their recipes.

In the study at the University of Rochester (go Rocky the yellowjacket), funded by the National Cancer Institute, subjects were given capsules containing up to 1.5 grams of powdered ginger for six days before starting chemo, after they had complained of nausea in previous rounds.

A low dose of ginger, the equivalent of just a quarter-teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger per day, seemed to give the best results, when combined with traditional anti-nausea drugs.

I have yet to get a call to Dr Pepper/Seven Up, the Cadbury-Schweppes unit that owns Canada Dry, returned. But I'm guessing that the volume of real ginger in its beverage may be about to become a selling point.

Meanwhile, Alton Brown of Good Eats demonstrated his ginger ale recipe on my TV recently. He uses the equivalent of three tablespoons of real ginger in about seven glasses of soda, which should translate to a hefty dose in each refreshing glass.

Brown's 2008 show "Rise of the Rhisome" also contains recipes for candied ginger and ginger snaps, if you prefer to take your ginger that way.

You can also follow this step-by-step recipe, from U.C. Clermont College, which has the same amount of ginger in it Brown uses.

These days I find a mix of grated ginger and garlic, and a little oil, to be the perfect base for a good stir fry. If you offered this and a glass of homemade ginger ale (or even a bourbon and ginger ale) to a friend going through cancer treatment, I think they will thank you.

If nothing else it's Good Eats.