Reactive nitrogen species (RNS), such as nitric oxide (NO) and its derivatives, e.g. peroxynitrite (ONOO-), have been proposed as being able to influence signal transduction and cause DNA damage, contributing to carcinogenic processes. In this study, the effect of -gingerol, a pungent phenolic compound present in ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe), on NO synthesis in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated J774.1 macrophages was tested, and the protective ability of this compound against peroxynitrite-mediated oxidation and nitration reactions were evaluated. -Gingerol exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of NO production and significant reduction of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in LPS-stimulated J774.1 cells. Moreover, -gingerol effectively suppressed peroxynitrite-induced oxidation of dichlorodihydrofluorescein, oxidative single strand breaks in supercoiled pTZ 18U plasmid DNA, and formation of 3-nitrotyrosine in bovine serum albumin (BSA) and J774.1 cells. Our results indicate that -gingerol is a potent inhibitor of NO synthesis and also an effective protector against peroxynitrite-mediated damage.