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August 15, 20170

Great strides were recently made in Indian academia regarding realization of the many curative properties of turmeric and curcumin.

Started at KIIT (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology),  the Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI), is an initiative supported by Dr. Achyuta Samanta, KIIT and KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) to provide a vibrant environment for promoting innovations and entrepreneurship development. It was started in 2009 and supported by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) and the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Lead researcher Professor Santosh Kumar Kar of KIIT University said that though the medicine he and his colleagues created (of which the active ingredient was turmeric) has not yet been tried on humans, the impressive effects it displayed on animals suggested enormous homosapien potential.

“Turmeric has been traditionally used in our food for centuries not only because it spices up our curries but because curcumin, the bioactive polyphenolic compound  provides some therapeutic benefits. Researches show that curcumin is not only non-toxic, it can give us relief from pain and help in wound healing, reduce inflammation and tissue damage,” Kar says.

Modern studies have shown that curcumin is not only an antioxidant, but it can give us relief from pain and help in wound healing, reduce inflammation and tissue damage. But Curcumin does not dissolve easily in water and therefore very little of the turmeric (and subsequent curcumin) we eat in our food goes into blood and shows very little effect. These facts led Kar to hypothesize that if natural curcumin can be converted into a bioavailable form it can be taken orally and will be more effective. Working on this line of thinking, Kar and his colleagues created a nanotised form of pure curcumin. Since nano curcumin showed about five times better bioavailability than the natural curcumin its therapeutic efficacy was tested in mice for several human illnesses like Malaria, Cancer and Tuberculosis. The results were astounding: after all the mice were infected with a rodent malaria parasite, half the mice were fed the nano curcumin and half were untreated. The untreated mice died in a few days and those that received the curcumin were able to control the infection and survive.

Feeling optimistic about these results, the team proceeded with research to explore how curcmunin could treat other widespread diseases. Soon thereafter, the nano curcumin was tested in a mouse model of breast cancer and was found to modulate T regulatory cell responses and was effective in controlling tumor growth in the mice. Next, the researchers tested the efficacy of curcumin against tuberculosis. It was shown that use of nano curcumin along with traditional antibiotics used to treat TB not only reduced the time for cure by 50 percent, but the liver at the end of treatment remained intact, the mycobacteria did not show much latency and the immune system of the mice remained intact (all common problems in TB treatment). Other studies conducted by the same researchers showed nano curcumin being effective in healing wounds and treating oral mucocytis, a precursor to oral cancer.


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August 14, 20170

In past blog posts, we have discussed the many curative properties of turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin. One of the best effects from curcumin is its pain relief properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels and stimulating the adrenal glands to produce more cortisone, the body’s natural painkiller. It works to alleviate pain from a number of issues- we address several of them below.

 

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Two conditions caused by autoimmune dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two problems whose pain can be curbed by turmeric. A 2010 clinical trial found that a turmeric supplement (standardized to 75 percent curcumin) provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Additionally, in a small 2012 pilot study, a curcumin product reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis better than a traditional anti-inflammatory drug commonly used for pain relief.  

Ulcers

An inexpensive, but surprisingly effective fix, turmeric helps heal ulcers and their subsequent pain by working against Helicobactor pylori which causes gastric ulcers. Turmeric also provides treatment for a type of inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis. Some early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for up to six months can reduce symptoms and the recurrence of ulcerative colitis when used in combination with conventional treatments. Other research shows that taking turmeric extract as an enema might help people with this condition.

Stomach Problems

Turmeric has also been found to be useful in treating several common stomach issues, including dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some research shows that taking turmeric by mouth four times daily for seven days might help improve an upset stomach (known in the medical world as dyspepsia). Additionally, early research suggests that taking a turmeric extract daily for eight weeks reduces the occurrence of IBS in people with IBS who are otherwise healthy.

Fibromyalgia and Joint Pain

Research shows that taking a specific combination product containing turmeric and other ingredients three times daily for eight weeks reduces the severity of joint pain. Turmeric has also been known to help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal and joint pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Modern-day science and studies show that curcumin may help fight inflammation related to fibromyalgia, as the mineral acts like a pain reliever.

Headaches and Backaches

Inflammation in the brain is a known migraine trigger and since curcumin is lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a great natural remedy for a headache. Regularly taking a turmeric/curcumin supplement has been anecdotally proven to help migraine reduction. Since back pain, especially low back pain, is also caused by inflammation, turmeric is a no-brainer in seeking resolution for the pain. Try a supplement or turmeric tea to get your back feeling mighty fine in no time.


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August 14, 20170

In previous blog posts, we have discussed the importance of turmeric and circumin supplements. But other than pill form, what’s a good way to ingest this magic vitamin? Food! Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian curries as well as in foods like mustard (it provides the golden yellow color), but there are lots of other ways to eat and drink this spice. Nutent Therapeutics explores some of those very ways below:

Tea

Brewing turmeric tea is a healthy, delicious way to consume the vitamins and minerals your body needs.  Just bring 1 cup of water to a boil and then stir in ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric or fresh grated turmeric. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes and strain before drinking. You can stir in honey or lemon juice for added flavor.

Spice up Veggies

Toss some fresh vegetables (like diced potatoes, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts) with a dash of olive oil and turmeric, along with any other seasonings you like. Throw them in the oven to roast, and voila, you have a tasty meal!

Golden Milk

This ancient Ayurvedic recipe can be made a number of ways. It is a turmeric paste mixed with warm milk and oil or ghee. You can use any kind of milk for this recipe. To make the paste, simply bring ½ cup filtered water to a low simmer and then mix in ¼ cup of ground turmeric, stirring constantly until it makes a thick paste, adding more water as needed. To make the golden milk, mix 1/2 teaspoon of paste with 1 cup of milk in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.

Smoothie

Turmeric root is especially great in juices and smoothies and a pinch of ground spice is good too. The slightly pungent flavor is well masked in smoothies but it may change the color of your smoothie, since it’s got such a strong pigment. Dissolving the turmeric in a bit of warm coconut oil before blending it in, or blending in ½ an avocado for some fat is a good way to increase the bioavailability of it. Bioavailability is the proportion of a drug or other substance that enters your circulation when introduced into your body and is able to have an active effect.

Curry

Curry is the most traditional way to eat turmeric and there are several reasons for this, both scientific and cultural. When you’re cooking with turmeric, it’s smart to mix it with some black pepper or oil as this has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin so that your body can use it. That’s why one of the best ways to eat turmeric is in dishes with some fat, black pepper and curry powder.

 


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August 4, 20170

Turmeric is a well-known culinary spice, but it also has profound medicinal properties that are just now being utilized in the western world. In India, however, people have been using turmeric for centuries in helping treat laryngitis, bronchitis and diabetes. Turmeric, which is derived from the plant Curcuma longa, includes the active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin accounts for approximately two to six percent of the spice and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin as an Anti-Inflammatory

These anti-inflammatory properties are especially beneficial, as chronic inflammation plays a role in almost every major western disease, including: heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. Although acute inflammation is a normal physiological process that can even be helpful in repairing bodily damage, it can become a major problem when it is chronic and inappropriately used against the body’s tissues.

Curcumin fights this problem by targeting multiple steps in the inflammation pathway. Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that is responsible for the inflammation of many cells and subsequently, plays a role in many chronic diseases.

Curcumin as an Antioxidant

In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin also increases the antioxidant capacity in your body. Antioxidants fight free radicals, reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that are behind the aging process and many diseases as well. Due to the chemical structure of curcumin, it can help to neutralize free radicals and boost the activity of the body’s inherent antioxidant enzymes. This is how curcumin is such a powerful tool against free radicals: it neutralizes and blocks them while also boosting natural antioxidants.

How Curcumin Boosts BDNF

Another important function of curcumin is boosting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Released by nerve cells, BDNF initiates an increased production of proteins responsible for nerve cell survival and ability. The higher your BDNF, the more connections your neurons can make and the more they can multiply and increase in number as well. A low BDNF is associated with a lot of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and depression. The introduction of curcumin in the hippocampus has elevated BDNF in several rodent studies and is projected to have similar effects on humans.

Curcumin as a Phytoestrogen

Laboratory studies have also suggested that curcumin acts as a phytoestrogen and subsequently can help with menopause as well as protect from certain cancers. By attaching to estrogen receptors, phytoestrogens have shown in studies to reduce risk for (as well as in some cases, provide treatment for) cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, liver and leukemia. According to some animal studies, phytoestrogens can protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth, reducing angiogenesis and metastasis and contributing to the death of cancer cells.

Curcumin and Heart Disease

Lastly, curcumin helps reverse heart disease and its ensuing degenerative processes. It does this by strengthening the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Endothelium dysfunction is a huge driver behind heart disease and exacerbates blood clots and irregular blood pressure. As heart disease is the biggest killer in the world, the fact that curcumin helps to prevent it only serves to reiterate the importance and magical properties of the mineral.

If you are plagued by any of the aforementioned ailments, consider a turmeric-curcumin supplement to provide you with relief and hope. 




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