Turmeric May Improve Cystic Fibrosis. Posted on: 22/04/2004
NEW HAVEN, Conn. Curcumin, a major constituent of the spice turmeric, may help correct cystic fibrosis (CF) defects, according to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine. The study is published in the April 23 issue of Science (304, 5670:600-2, 2004) (www.sciencemag.com).
In most common forms of CF, a responsible protein (CTFR) is trapped inside the cells of the airways and gastrointestinal tract, inhibiting normal secretion of ions and fluid that eventually can lead to a buildup of mucous clogs in the lungs and the pancreas.
However, in the study, researchers found 45 mg/kg body weight/d of curcumin administered to mice with CF helped release the protein from the cells. The treatment was either given once per day, or as a divided dose administered three times per day.
After having received curcumin treatment, mice with the genetic defect that causes CF survived at a rate almost equal to normal mice," said Gergely Lukacs, M.D., Ph.D., one of the study's authors. "The CFTR protein also functioned normally in the cells lining the nose and rectum, which are areas of the body affected by CF."
Plans for a human clinical trial using curcumin are underway, which will be carried out under the auspices of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc., according to Michael Caplan, M.D., Ph.D., the study's senior author and professor at Yale University School of Medicine. "In the next phase of research, we will work to determine precisely how curcumin is achieving these effects and to optimize its potential as a possible drug," he said.