Posted on Dec 06, 2012, 6 a.m.
Daily supplements of curcumin, the spice compound that gives curry its yellow color and pungent flavor, may match exercise, in relation to cardiovascular health benefits among postmenopausal women.
A number of studies suggest that curcumin, a spice compound extracted from the rootstalks of the turmeric plant and gives curry its yellow color and pungent flavor, exerts potential protective effects against Alzheimer’s Disease, certain cancers, diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic inflammation-related disorders. Nobuhiko Akazawa , from the University of Tsukuba (Japan), and colleagues enrolled 32 post-menopausal women, in an eight week long study, assigning each subject to one of three groups: one group receiving curcumin supplements (25 mg per day); a second group instructed to engage in aerobic exercise; and the third group acting as controls. Flow mediated dilation (FMD), a marker of vascular health and potentially a predictor of future adverse cardiovascular events, increased by a significant 1.5% in both the curcumin-supplemented and exercise groups, with no changes in the control group. The study authors report that: "Our results indicated that curcumin ingestion and aerobic exercise training can increase flow-mediated dilation in postmenopausal women, suggesting that both can potentially improve the age-related decline in endothelial function.”
Nobuhiko Akazawa, Youngju Choi, Asako Miyaki, Yoko Tanabe, Jun Sugawara, Ryuichi Ajisaka, Seiji Maeda. “Curcumin ingestion and exercise training improve vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women.” Nutrition Research, Volume 32, Issue 10, October 2012, Pages 795-799.