Adding curcumin to your diet could lower inflammation associated with heart disease, a new study suggests.  Research from the Mashad University of Medical Sciences in Iran has discovered that curcumin has two key therapeutic effects, primarily its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

An eight week trial to determine curcumin’s effects on heart disease found it provided significant reductions to signs of inflammation such as the C-reactive protein and various other blood markers.

Curcumin derived from the Ancient spice turmeric is widely used both medicinally and for culinary purposes throughout Asian countries. As the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin’s antioxidant properties have been noted in numerous animal studies, although there are less studies in people.

Its use in various illnesses and in reducing signs of inflammation throughout a wide variety of illnesses, everything from heart disease to joint pain and even cancer means that it has various benefits for overall health.

What the study involved

Researchers analysed the C-reactive protein and three blood markers for inflammation that have been linked to heart disease. Their results indicated that people taking the curcumin had improved blood levels in all three biomarkers, along with reduced fasting blood sugar and haemoglobin A1c that measures long-term blood sugar levels.

Meanwhile the other group had high glucose and inflammation markers, but no changes to other markers. Data was also analysed from eight studies carried out previously which confirmed that out of 281 patients, those who took curcumin showed the most significant reduction of CRP concentrations.

The research while promising, is however still unclear about the effects that curcumin has on diseases and of any long-term implications associated with it.

Source: Clinical Nutrition Journal