By Sayer Ji
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
In a day and age where people identify heart disease prevention strategies with consuming what are essentially toxic chemicals like aspirin and statin drugs, it is refreshing to see clinical research being done on the powerful cardio-protective properties of time-tested and much safer spices.
A compelling new study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism has found that a daily dose of a novel form of turmeric extract (curcumin) significantly improved the functional state of the blood vessels of healthy adults within two months.
The randomized, controlled, double-blind parallel prospective study involved fifty-nine healthy adults who were assigned to either a placebo, 50 mg (50 mg), or 200 mg (200 mg) curcumin, for 8 weeks.
The study provided background on what is believed to be a primary underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, namely, the inability of the inner lining of blood vessels (endothelium) to dilate fully as a consequence of mostly symptom-less damage that can start early in life:
“Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are often asymptomatic and can begin as early as childhood . A putative mechanism leading to CVD is damage to the vascular endothelium, a monolayer of cells which releases antiatherosclerotic molecules, most notably including nitric oxide . Endothelial function can be measured as a decreased flow-mediated dilation (FMD) response, using occlusion of the brachial artery and the subsequent dilation response as an indicator of vascular function [1, 3]. Lifestyle behaviours which enhance antioxidative status and preserve nitric oxide bioavailability may protect against endothelial dysfunction [4–6].”
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