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tumeric for bloating?

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#1 poet


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Posted 07 January 2004 - 06:19 PM

<http://www.timesonli...00.html>Tumeric, the spice used to flavour curries, may help to combatdigestive complaintsIF ENDLESS festivities have taken their toll on your digestivesystem, adding spice to your diet in the form of turmeric, commonlyused to add flavour and colour to curries, may help. Researchers atthe University of Reading's school of food bioscience have found thata daily dose of turmeric can counter bloating, stomach cramps, bowelcomplaints and other common symptoms of dietary excess.In a trial of 207 volunteers, all of whom suffered irritable bowelsyndrome (IBS) or general bowel discomfort usually triggered by food,two thirds reported significant improvements after taking from 1.8gto 3.6g of the spice daily.Dr Rafe Bundy, a food scientist who led the research, says thatcurcumin, the substance that gives turmeric its colour, is known tohave a potent, anti-inflammatory action, and this could explain whyit is helpful to people with acute or chronic bowel complaints."Current medical opinion is that IBS is caused by low-gradeinflammation of the gut lining," Bundy says. "Most conventionalanti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, canexacerbate this by inflaming and irritating the gut lining, whereasturmeric has a beneficial effect."While curcumin works by "damping down" the inflammatory process,other compounds in turmeric have been shown to have cholereticproperties (ie, they stimulate the production and improve the flow ofbile). A study in Thailand showed that a regular intake of the spiceboosts bile secretion from the liver which leads to fats beingdigested more easily, Bundy says. "This is particularly important atthis time of year when people are eating a lot of rich food."Although those in the Reading trial took one or two supplementscontaining a standard dose of the spice (as available from leadingpharmacies), it is suggested that consuming 1g to 2g of turmericpowder, either in food or mixed with water, will have the samepositive effect.The Reading study (to be published this year) is the latest in aflurry of recent scientific investigations into the therapeutic andmedicinal properties of turmeric. Last year, a study at VancouverGeneral Hospital (published in the American Journal of Physiology),suggested curcumin might be used to treat debilitating illnesses suchas Chrohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.Turmeric has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties - thoughtto be linked to the antioxidant effects of a bioactive peptide in thespice called turmerin, which helps to protect DNA from injury. Itseems to help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease, too. Whenscientists at the University of California (UCLA) gave mice foodlaced with low doses of curcumin, its anti-inflammatory actionreduced brain swelling and progressive brain damage as well ascutting Alzheimer-like plaque in the brain by 50 per cent.Another study suggested it might also ward off damaging side-effectsof radiotherapy. Researchers at the University of Rochester's WilmotCancer Centre in New York found that mice given a daily dose ofcurcumin for five days before exposure to radiation suffered farfewer burns and blisters. "It is significant because skin damage is aproblem for patients undergoing radiation to treat their tumours,"says Dr Paul Okunieff, who led the study. "If a non-toxic, naturalsubstance can help to prevent this damage and enhance theeffectiveness of radiation, we have a winning situation."Further investigation is needed to confirm the benefits for humans,but he suggests that cancer patients could consider eating foodscontaining turmeric before radiotherapy.tom



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