Tumeric contains a compound called curcumin, used for centuries as an alternative medical treatment for such ailments as allergies, diabetes and ulcers. A study by Ohio State university, published in PLOS ONE journal, has demonstrated the impact of curcumin’s biological effects on the entire body.
“There’s a reason why this compound has been used for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine. And this study suggests that we have identified a better and more effective way to deliver curcumin and know what diseases to use it for so that we can take advantage of its anti-inflammatory power,” said Nicholas Young, a postdoctoral researcher in rheumatology and immunology at Ohio State and lead author of the study.
The study consisted of feeding mice models with a curcumin based nutritional substance. The research findings revealed that curcumin acts by blocking activation of a key protein that triggers the immune response. The researchers were also the first to show that curcumin stops recruitment of specific immune cells that, when overactive, are linked to such problems as heart disease and obesity.In a specialized imaging machine, mice receiving plain curcumin lit up with bioluminescent signals indicating that NF-kB was actively triggering an immune response, while mice receiving nano-emulsified curcumin showed minimal signs — a 22-fold reduction — that the protein had been activated at all.
“We envision that this nutraceutical could be used one day both as a daily supplement to help prevent certain diseases and as a therapeutic drug to help combat the bad inflammation observed in many diseases,” Young said. “The distinction will then be in the amount given — perhaps a low dose for daily prevention and higher doses for disease suppression.”
Nicholas A. Young, Michael S. Bruss, Mark Gardner, William L. Willis, Xiaokui Mo, Giancarlo R. Valiente, Yu Cao, Zhongfa Liu, Wael N. Jarjour, Lai-Chu Wu. Oral Administration of Nano-Emulsion Curcumin in Mice Suppresses Inflammatory-Induced NFκB Signaling and Macrophage Migration. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e111559 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111559