Indian studies focused on role of curcumin
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/23/2012 -- The rights amount of turmeric can soothe stomach disorders such as gastric inflammation and ulcers, scientists in India say.
Curcumin, an important component of the spice, has therapeutic properties, as well as giving turmeric its yellow color.
A senior scientist of the Drug Development Diagnostic and Biotechnology Division of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology stated that curcumin is therapeutic if taken in the correct amount.
“(Curcumin) has been shown to be a good cure for gastric ailments like inflammation and ulceration,” Snehasitka Swarnakar told IANS. “While its low doses are not effective, at high doses it might aggravate the situation. But we have come up with the optimum dose at which curcumin is therapeutic.”
Stress and frequent use of painkillers can cause ulcers and gastric inflammation.
Swarnakar led the research, which was conducted on rats.
“For rats, the proper dose is around 50 mg per kilogram of their body weight, which is equivalent to 100mg per kilogram of body weight in humans,” Swarnakar said.
The research also showed how curcumin can help the healing process, said fellow researcher Nilanjana Maulik of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
“This is the first study to reveal that the presence of curcumin in the system before or after ulcer development may promote formation of new blood vessels at the site of healing and restore collagen fibers, the tissue that adds structural strength to body parts,” Maulik said.
The network of blood vessels in stomach tissue is broken down by painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which also interfere with collagen fibers that provide structural strength.
Swarnakar said curcumin “comes to the rescue” by regulating the levels of two enzymes that take part in blood vessel formation.
MMP-2 is a “housekeeping” enzyme that the body needs, but MMP-9 isn’t needed and, in fact, is inflammatory.
“Curcumin increases the levels of MMP-2 while simultaneously lowering the MMP-9 level,” Swarnakar said. “This balance between the two enzymes is the key to its actions.”
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