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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Curcumin immune boosting properties

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Author Topic: Curcumin immune boosting properties
D Bergy
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It appears that Curcumin, found in the spice Turmeric has immune boosting properties. This may help with the battle against Lyme disease.

My wife, who has Lyme, takes this most every day. I take it also for general health benefits. Possibly her use of Turmeric has helped her recovery. I have no way of knowing for sure, but it may be a good idea to consider this option.

Dan

Immune-Boosting Powers of Curcumin Are Pinpointed
April 2009

The health-boosting activity of curcumin may be due to the molecule's ability to stabilize cell membranes and increase the cell's resistance to infection, according to a new study.

The research, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society, may help scientists understand how curcumin works inside the body. Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy and colleagues at the University of Michigan used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to show that curcumin physically alters the cell membrane at an atomic level.

Curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color, has increasingly come under the scientific spotlight in recent years, with studies investigating its potential benefits for reducing cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and for its potential protection against cancer.

According to Ramamoorthy, curcumin can induce a negative curvature of the membrane, which would explain the potential anti-cancer activity of the compound, since other studies have shown that such changes may increase the activity of proteins such as tBid, which play an important role in apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Using solid-state NMR spectroscopy, Ramamoorthy and his co-workers report that molecules of curcumin insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly. This makes the cells more resistant to infection by disease-causing microbes, they added. The study, supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health, also revealed that curcumin exerts this strong effect on the membrane structure at low concentrations.

Journal of the American Chemical Society 131(12):4490-4498, 2009

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Jasmin
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I use turmeric for iritis...and it works.

--------------------
Never doubt in darkness what the daylight proves to you.

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brf
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Just a caution that curcumin is a vasodilator and for those who have dyautonomia or low blood pressure issues, it usually makes them worse.
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D Bergy
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It also thins the blood slightly. If you are already on blood thinners, consult your physician before using larger doses.

Dan

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dguy
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In the wake of AIDS, I wish by now the medical community had a better understanding of what is immune boosting and what is immune suppressive.

Into which category turmeric falls is unclear to me. For example, turmeric is included in the list of immunosupressive drugs discussed at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunosuppressive_drug#TNF_binding_proteins

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D Bergy
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It is not an immunosuppressive in the traditional sense. A better way to put it is that Turmeric suppresses the inflammation response, but not the imune response.

It is an immune booster in the sense that it makes the cells more resistant to microbes.

That is another reason it can be useful for Lyme and other diseases in which chronic inflammation is a factor.

Chronic inflammation can cause mental problems such as anxiety, depression, etc, in addition to the more commonly known problems of joint, muscle pain.

Dan

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