During bypass surgery, the heart muscle can be damaged by a lack of supply of blood flow thereby increasing the risk of a patient getting a heart attack. However, newfindings published in the American Journal of Cardiology, indicated that Curcumin-yellow pigment in turmeric-can alleviate those risks when added to traditional medicaltherapy.
Wanwarang Wongcharoen, study leader from Chiang Mai University, said the findingsthat he did is still on a small scale and must be confirmed in a larger study.
As is known, the turmeric extracts have long been used in traditional medicine in Chinaand India. Research suggests inflammation plays an important role in the development of a variety of ailments, including heart disease.
"And Curcumin may inhibit the inflammatory process," says Bharat Aggarwal, who has studied the use of Curcumin in cancer therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center,Houston, Texas.
"These findings are very encouraging," he added, which was not involved in the research.
In his studies, researchers studied 121 patients who are not in the post-emergencyconditions undergo bypass surgery in the hospital between 2009 and 2011.
Half of the patients were given one gram of Curcumin capsules four times a day. Theyare consuming the enriched capsule of Curcumin three days prior to surgery andcontinued for five days after surgery. The other half are consuming the same amount of placebo in capsule form.
The results showed, after bypass surgery, as much as 13 percent of participants whohad been taking Curcumin experienced a heart attack. While participants who took a placebo, 30 percent get a heart attack (the number is much larger).
Before the participants underwent heart surgery, Wongcharoen and colleagues also found that participants who get Curcumin have risks lower 65 percent had a heart attack. Wongcharoen argues, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant contained in Curcuminmay have helped impede heart damage in patients.
"Curcumin has long been believed to have the ability to reduce inflammation andreduce oxygen toxicity or the damage caused by free radicals in a number of research,"dial's Jawahar Mehta, a cardiologist from the University of Arkansas for MedicalSciences in Little Rock, who is not involved in this study.
"But that does not mean that turmeric can be a substitute for treatment," he added.
According to Mehta, some types of drugs such as aspirin, statins and beta blockershave been shown to help cardiac patients and even the participants who were involvedin this study have also been using it.
"Getting the right amount of Curcumin, such as in cooking may be quite useful. But Iwouldn't advise you to go to a health food store and start taking four grams ofCurcumin a day, as done in this research, "explains Mehta.