The key ingredients for many Indian, Persian and Thai dishes, turmeric, known for its healing properties among South and Southeast Asians, can be helpful for heart patients who underwent recent bypass surgery, a research published in American Journal of Cardiology said.
According to findings of study conducted by Thailand researchers, turmeric--with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, when used with traditional drugs may cut heart attack risk by as much as 65% following the bypass surgery.
Normally after the bypass surgery chances of heart attack rises due to prolonged lack of blood flow to heart muscle during bypass surgery.
The journal quoted research team head Wanwarang Wongcharoen from Chiang Mai University as saying that findings are based on small group of subjects and needs to be confirmed in larger studies.
Reuters quoted Bharat Aggarwal, who studies the use of turmeric in cancer therapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, as saying that the research has suggested inflammation plays an important role in the development of a range of diseases, including heart disease, and curcumins could have an effect on those pathways.
"It's very, very encouraging," said Aggarwal.
Researchers conducted a test on 121 heart patients. Half of those patients were administered 1 gm curcumin capsules and the other half were administered the same number of drug-free placebo capsules.
The found that in case of those on curcumin capsules the rate of heart attack was 13%, whereas in case of other half rate was 30%.
The team, after discounting other factors came to conclusion that that people on curcumins had a 65% lower chance of heart attack.
They further said that it's likely that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric may have helped limit heart damage in the patients.
However, cardio experts are taking it as 'too early to be reliable' as the sample size was too small and it needs to be verified.
Turmeric contains up to 5% essential oils and up to 5% curcumin, a polyphenol. Curcumin is the active substance of turmeric and curcumin is known as C.I. 75300, or Natural Yellow 3.
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