(OrganicJar) The compound curcumin, that gives turmeric its yellowish color may protect arteries from fatty buildup, new research in mice shows.
Curcumin, the main ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, is a naturally occurring antioxidant known as a polyphenol. Polyphenols are found in plants that have anti-inflammatory and other protective properties.
Previous studies in rats showed that curcumin had the power to prevent heart failure. Turmeric-based compounds have also been touted as potential treatments for Alzheimer's, arthritis, and breast cancer.
The current study suggests curcumin may thwart the development of atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, a key risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
Researchers in France fed 20 mice a diet supplemented with curcumin or a comparison diet not supplemented with curcumin. After 16 weeks, mice fed on the curcumin-based diet had a 26% reduction in fatty deposits in their arteries compared to mice on the comparison diet.
In addition, curcumin appeared to alter the genetic signaling involved in plaque buildup at the molecular level.
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