Scientists at the Uniformed Services, University of Health Sciences in Bethesda state that Curcumin, the active compound derived from the herb Turmeric has many different activities and is very safe even when given at higher doses. There is existing data showing its benefit for skin diseases including use for scleroderma, psoriasis, and skin cancer. It works in many ways including as a potent antioxidant and it also reduces inflammation.
Curcumin reduces the healing time of wounds, enhancing healing in both normal and impaired wound-healing (as in a diabetic). The studies reviewed suggest the beneficial effects of Curcumin and the potential of this compound to be developed as a potent nontoxic agent for treating skin diseases. It is also an attractive agent for further research in treating tumors of the colon, duodenum, pancreas and breast. The research review is published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2007;595.
Curcumin ameliorates many autoimmune diseases
The immune system has evolved to protect us from infection; nevertheless, a breakdown in the immune system often results in cancer, infection, and autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease occurs when our own immune system misidentifies a part of our own body and attacks it resulting often in a dangerous, even sometimes fatal outcome. Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, myocarditis, thyroiditis, uveitis, lupus, and myasthenia gravis are organ-specific autoimmune diseases that afflict more than 5% of the population worldwide.
The use of herbal supplements is on the rise in patients with autoimmune diseases, mainly because they are effective, inexpensive and relatively safe. Curcumin from the herb Turmeric has traditionally been used for pain and wound-healing. Recent studies have shown that Curcumin ameliorates multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. In human or animal studies Curcumin helps by regulating chemical messengers that control or provoke the immune system. The research review was performed by scientists at the Neuroscience Research Laboratory, Methodist research Institute in Indianapolis, and is published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2007;595.
Protection from acute and chronic lung disease by Curcumin
Scientists at the Faculty of Medicine, UMR-7561, Vandoeuvre les Nancy, France crunched data from studies examining the benefits of Curcumin from the herb Turmeric in treating sudden-acute or chronic-longstanding lung diseases. Occupational and environmental exposures to mineral dusts, airborne pollutants, cigarette smoke, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy (radiation) injure the lungs, resulting in lung diseases.
Although major advances have been made in treating lung diseases, no drug treatment modifies the condition. Current drug therapy offers only marginal benefit. Over the years, there has been increasing evidence that Curcumin from the herb Turmeric, has a wide spectrum of therapeutic properties, and a remarkable range of protective effects in various diseases. Several experimental animal models have found that Curcumin reduces lung injuries and scarring (fibrosis) caused by radiation, chemotherapeutic drugs, and toxins. The growing pile of data from pharmacological and animal studies also shows that Curcumin plays a therapeutic or protective role in COPD, acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome (a fatal condition where the lungs air sacs fill with blood and fluid making breathing difficult), and allergic asthma. Curcumin?s therapeutic action is due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The review is published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2007;595.
Curcumin protects the kidneys and liver
Curcumin from Turmeric has a wide spectrum of therapeutic effects including antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antispasmodic activity. Curcumin is changed into metabolites that can protect the kidneys and improve creatinine and urea clearance. Curcumin also protects the kidneys from toxic chemicals and has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effect in the kidneys. These metabolites, especially tetrahydrocurcumin (or THU1- one of the things the body changes Curcumin into) help protect diabetics from developing kidney damage and nerve damage.
In the liver, Curcumin helps protect from drugs, cancer causing chemicals, mold in foods, and solvents, reducing the risk of DNA damage and possibly even liver cancer. Curcumin may even protect the liver from the toxic effects of alcohol. The research review was performed at Nagoya University Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences in Japan and is published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 2007;595.
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