Turmeric can help fight liver inflammation
London: Turmeric, long hailed by Indian
medics for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,
can help delay liver damage that eventually causes cirrhosis
-- a chronic disease that leads to loss of liver function,
European researchers have claimed.
According to the researchers from Medical University of
Graz in Austria, Curcumin, one of the principal components of
turmeric which gives the spice its bright yellow pigment,
delays the damage caused by liver inflammation that can lead
For their study, a team of researchers led by Professor
Michael Trauner from the University added curcumin to the diet
fed to mice with chronic liver inflammation and analysed their
tissue and blood samples after four and eight weeks.
They compared the results with that of the mice with the
same condition, but which were not fed with curcumin diet.
The team observed that bile duct blockage were reduced
significantly and liver cell (hepatocyte) damage and scarring
(fibrosis) curbed in the rodents that were fed with curcumin
No such effects were, however, observed in mice fed a
normal diet, said the research that appeared in the journal
The researchers believe that the curcumin interfered with
several chemical signalling pathways involved in the
inflammatory process and reduced their effect.
Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver. Scar tissue are formed
in the liver because of an injury or a long-term disease. It
can also be caused by alcoholism, hepatitis B and C, and fatty
The condition can lead to kidney failure or liver cancer
in severe cases.
First Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 00:00
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