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Low level curcumin supplements have ‘diverse’ health effects

By Nathan Gray+

05-Oct-2012

Low level supplementation with curcumin could have a ‘diverse’ range or potentially beneficial health effects, according to the findings of a new study.

The research – published in Nutrition Journal – investigated the possible health effects of a low dose level supplementation of a curcumin extract-lipid preparation in healthy middle aged people.

Led by Dr Robert DiSilvestro from Ohio State University, USA, the research team revealed that the low level supplementation produced “a variety of potentially health promoting effects.”

“This study demonstrated that in apparently healthy individuals, a relatively low dose of a specific curcumin preparation can exert a variety of health promoting effects,” said DiSilvestro and his team.

The team explained that the low level supplementation with the curcumin-lipid formulation (Longvida by Verdure Sciences Inc, USA) resulted in mixed results for blood lipids compared to previosu experimental data.

“Specifically, in the present study, curcumin lowered triglyceride readings but did not affect various types of cholesterol readings,” the team said.

The study was supported by a grant from Verdure Sciences, however the authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Curcumin promise

Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow colour, has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential health benefits.

As a result, curcumin has been linked to a range of health benefits, including potential protection against prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, protection against heart failure, diabetes, and arthritis.

However curcumin was among a host of herbs claiming joint health benefits to be delivered negative article 13.1 opinions by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in February 2010.

DiSilvestro and his team added that curcumin has been previously been suggested to have many health benefits – with data from cell cultures and experimental animals models suggesting the spice extract has beneficial actions for lipid metabolism and cardiovascular functions in addition to possessing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  

Study details

In the new study, the team supplemented 19 healthy middle aged people (40-60 years old) with a low dose of curcumin (80 mg per day) for four weeks, while 19 older adults were given a placebo.

Blood and saliva samples were taken before and after the four week supplementation, and analszed for a variety of measures relevant to health promotion, said DiSilvestro and his colleagues.

The team revealed that curcumin supplementation significantly improved a number of health markers in the participants, including: the lowering of plasma triglyceride values, lowering of salivary amylase levels, raising of salivary radical scavenging capacities, raising of plasma catalase activities, lowering of plasma beta amyloid protein concentrations, lowering of plasma sICAM readings, increased plasma nitric oxide, and decreased plasma alanine amino transferase activities.

Source: Nutrition Journal
Volume 11 , Number 79, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-79
“Diverse effects of a low dose supplement of lipidated curcumin in healthy middle aged people”
Author: Robert A DiSilvestro, Elizabeth Joseph, Shi Zhao, Bomser Joshua

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