Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Spice protects liver?

Drs Youcai Tang and Anping Chen of St Louis University have found the route by which curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, protects the liver against damage that may occur in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are often associated with elevated levels of a hormone called leptin. This abnormally high level of leptin leads to the liver laying down more collagen than normal and so becoming more fibrous, a condition called liver fibrosis. The mechanics are that the high leptin activates particular liver cells called hepatic stellate cells.

Adding curcumin to this situation altered the expression of a protein and genes that prevented these liver cells from being activated, thereby preventing the fibrosis from occurring.

The study by Tang and Chen was an exploration of the mechanics involved, in a lab test, so though this showed how curcumin works it did not investigate what dose was required to produce such protective effects within humans.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is used in curries. It is also used as an alternative to saffron to give the same colour at a much lower price.

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October 30, 2010 - Posted by | Curcumin - turmeric, Diabetes, Diet, Health, Liver disease, Obesity, Success

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