The Journal of Clinical Investigation reports a study that suggests that eating curries and other foods including the antioxidant curcumin found in turmeric just might prevent or correct congestive heart failure. Ayurvedic medicine has used turmeric to prevent scar formation for centuries. Scientists at the Canadian Insitutes of Health Research have found that, at least in mice, curcuminiods from turmeric can prevent the production of scar tissue and help enlarged hearts return to normal pumping capacity.

This study shows that this herbal extract acts directly on the DNA of heart cells in animals, protecting it from unraveling under stress.

The kinds of stress that cause DNA to unravel include both oxygen deprivation, when heart tissue is deprived of blood circulation because of a clot, and sodium infiltration, when heart cells are exposed to high levels of glucose or salt that keeps them pumping sodium out and pumping potassium in.

The study also shows that benefits of curcuminoids are not increased by eating more of them. Experiments showed that the test animal only needed just enough curcumin to turn off an “unraveling switch” in the DNA in heart cells that otherwise would be expected to develop into scar tissue. “Just enough” was also the maximum effective dose. In humans, there are some indications that just enough the herb extract roughly corresponds to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of turmeric a day.

What this study does not show is that curcumin will definitely prevent or cure congestive heart failure in humans (and you should not quit medications in hope it does), although it offers hope of a safe and inexpensive treatment for the tens of millions of people with enlarged heart and/or congestive heart failure.

Lead researcher Dr. Peter Liu told reporters it does not matter whether you are retirement-age or grade-school age or in between, male or female, the larger your heart is, the greater your risk is for having a heart attack or developing congestive heart failure in the future. However, until clinical trials are done, he does not recommend patients take curcumin routinely.

Dr. Liu went on to remind people with congestive heart failure that lowering blood pressure and healthy eating remain essential even if this natural supplement is found to play a profoundly useful role in restoring the heart tissue damaged by heart attack.
Last 5 posts in Heart Disease
Popularity: 8%
Filed under: Heart Disease