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September 17, 2012
Curcumin, an active ingredient of turmeric and curry spice, one of the most commonly used spice mixtures, is known for its numerous health benefits. This natural remedy has been used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It is proven natural solution to aid weight loss, improve gallbladder and liver health, as well as a remedy to provide us with all health effects of natural antioxidants. You can read about one more important benefit of curcumin in this article. This summer, scientists reported that by using curcumin or a curcumin supplement it is possible to substantially improve the effectiveness of a spinal cord injury treatment, speed up tissue damage repair, restore walking abilities and achieve excellent results within a much shorter period of time.
An expert team at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, has published the newest findings suggesting that a dietary cucrcmin supplement enriched with omega 3 fatty acid can play a role in repairing nerve cell damage linked to spinal cord traumas and restore neurological function, especially in those patients who suffer from degenerative damage to the neck. According to Dr. Langston Holly, the study leader, the scientists wanted to find a natural support for strengthening the effects of spinal cord injury treatment like surgery, which is used as an effective technique to eliminate pressure and prevent possible complications related to the injury. The extra support was necessary because surgery could not assist in repairing nerve damage and stimulate recovery after the serious trauma.
The team worked with two groups of lab rats with neurological symptoms like joint and bone aches, difficulty walking, weakness and others, all resembling the ones of cervical myelopathy. This condition is quite common in aging people and those affected by osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis. “Normal aging often narrows the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord and injuring tissue,” Dr Holly said. The scientists made one group of rats consume typical Western diet rich in sugars and saturated fats, and the other group of rats consumed a diet with curcumin and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Walking abilities of rats was considered the main criterion to make preliminary conclusions, and every week rats were examined and re-examined for their improvements in walking abilities.
In six weeks, it turned out that the rats fed with curcumin and DHA diet has shown significantly better progress in walking abilities compared to those rats fed on traditional western diet. Further, scientists looked at three other very important criteria, including neural repair, cellular communication and cell-membrane damage in spinal cord of the rats, and tried to find the links between the changes in those three and the diet. It turned out that those rats which consumed a western type diet had higher levels of cell-membrane damage compared to the rats in the other group. The markers of cellular communication and neural repair linked to spinal chord injury were also better in those rats who consumed the diet rich in curcumin and fatty acids.
That is why the scientists believe that a diet high in such nutrients as curcumin and fatty acids, or supporting a diet with a curcumin supplement enriched with omega 3 fatty acids can be used to support and speed up the recovery during or after a spinal cord injury treatment. As the study leader said, such kind of curcumin supplement can speed up damage repair and minimize degenerative changes related to the condition. “We next want to look at other mechanisms involved in the cascade of events leading up to chronic spinal cord injury,” Dr Holly confirmed. The findings of this study were published this summer in August issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Check out more details and find more information related to this research in this report.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.