Inflammation is known to play a significant role in the development of certain heart disorders. Research has found the effectiveness of curcumin, a yellow colored pigment found in turmeric, to have a major impact on relieving the effects of inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric, the Indian spice used in almost all curries and many other Indian dishes, contains the pigment curcumin, known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nature. Researchers of cancer therapy in the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas have studied its effectiveness in warding off heart attacks in patients having undergone bypass surgeries.
The researchers studied 121 patients who had undergone non-emergency bypass surgery at their hospital between 2009 and 2010 and found out that 30% people from the placebo group developed heart attacks whereas, a mere 13% of the people who were taking curcumin developed a heart attack.
During the research 50 percent patients were given one gram capsules of curcumin, four times a day, while the other 50 percent were put on placebo. The patients on curcumin capsules, started their course three days before their surgery and continued with it for five days post the bypass.
Speaking about the findings, cardiologist Jawahar Mehta, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences said:
“Curcumin has for many years now shown to reduce inflammation and to reduce oxygen toxicity or damage caused by free radicals in a number of experimental settings,”
Researchers thus, concluded that curcumin consuming patients reduced their chances of heart attack, post a bypass by almost 65 percent, as compared to those who did not consume curcumin.
People undergoing bypass surgeries have a greater chance of developing heart attacks due to increased blood flow to the blood vessels that occurs during a bypass surgery. Intake of curcumin along with the conventional medicine may lower the risk of developing one, post surgery.
However, it should not be consumed as an alternative to the conventional medicine like aspirin, statin, and beta blockers. Intake of small amounts of curcumin by either adding turmeric as a spice to food or consuming curcumin capsules would certainly benefit the heart patients by limiting heart damage, suggest researchers.