Turmeric has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems.
Therapeutic properties of curcumin:
There is a large body of literature providing experimental data supporting a wide range of pharmacologic properties of curcumin, including chemosensitizing, radiosensitizing, wound healing, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungical, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties.
New role identified
Oregon State University scientists have discovered that curcumin can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that’s known to be important in the “innate” immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.
This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, is part of what helps our immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi even though they hadn’t been encountered before. CAMP appears to have the ability to kill a broad range of bacteria, including those that cause tuberculosis and protect against the development of sepsis.
Prior to this, it was known that CAMP levels were increased by vitamin D. There has been intense scientific interest in the vitamin D receptor in recent years because of potential therapeutic benefits in treating infection, cancer, psoriasis and other diseases, the researchers noted in their report. An alternative way to elicit a related biological response could be significant and merits additional research, they said.
Curcumin can cause the levels of CAMP to almost triple but the impact of curcumin in this role is not nearly as potent as that of vitamin D.
“Curcumin, as part of turmeric, is generally consumed in the diet at fairly low levels,” Gombart said. “However, it’s possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract.”
The above story is based on the May 25, 2012 news release by the Oregon State University.
See recent posts on curcumin by The Zestzfulness Team
NSAID Alternatives – CURCUMIN, Mar 12, 2011
Tumeric (Curcuma longa) and its main biologically active constituent, a polyphenol called curcumin, have remarkable, multiple health benefits as supported by an extensive body of clinical science. CLICK HERE to read
Curcumin: getting back to the roots, Mar 27, 2010
Modern science has revealed that curcumin mediates its effects by modulation of several important molecular targets, including transcription factors (e.g., NF-kappaB, AP-1, Egr-1, beta-catenin, and PPAR-gamma), enzymes ... CLICK HERE to read
Turmeric Component Fights Head and Neck Cancer, Sep 17, 2011
"We believe curcumin could be combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, to treat head and neck cancer. It also could perhaps be given to patients at high risk for developing head and neck cancers… CLICK HERE to read