Scientists have been studied turmeric for a long time to figure out its health benefits.
They have found that a compound called curcumin plays a role in detecting and treating the neurodegeneration implicated in numerous eye and brain conditions.
However, one of curcumin’s limitations is that it’s poorly absorbed by the body.
Recently, researchers show that other compounds in turmeric hold additional health benefits.
For example, a team from Baylor Scott & White Health finds that curcumin combined with essential turmeric oils could fight against chronic inflammation more effectively.
In the study, they compared anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin with a combination of both curcumin and essential turmeric oils.
They examined how curcumin alone and curcumin paired with turmeric oils affect ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract.
The team found that CCL17, a protein in cells that induces intestinal inflammation, was suppressed by both curcumin and essential turmeric oil-curcumin combination treatments.
Moreover, the latter treatment was much more effective.
The researchers suggest that pairing curcumin with turmeric essential oils could enhance its bioavailability in circulation by nearly tenfold and provide better protection from the chronic disease than using curcumin alone.
In another study, researchers from UCL and Imperial College London found that turmeric eye drops could help treat vision loss.
They developed a new method to deliver curcumin directly to the back of the eye using eye drops. This could overcome the challenge of curcumin’s poor solubility.
The turmeric eye drops can reduce the loss of retinal cells, which is known to be an early sign of glaucoma, an eye condition that could lead to blindness. The study was conducted in mice.
After twice-daily use of eye drops in the mice for three weeks, they found that retinal ganglion cell loss was strongly reduced compared non-eye-drops group and that the treatment was well-tolerated with no signs of eye irritation or inflammation.
The researchers hope that it could also be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Both studies are published in Scientific Reports.
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