Curcumin Linked With Improved Vascular Health
Endothelial dysfunction may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study suggests that taking an enhanced curcumin supplement may help improve vascular health in healthy people, as measured by flow-mediated dilation.
Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) measures the ability of an artery to contract as blood flows through it, and the higher your FMD, the better. Previous research suggests that every 1% reduction in FMD is associated with a 12% increased risk in developing cardiovascular problems.
Participants in the study included 59 moderately trained men and women with an average age of 21. The participants were divided into three groups. Over the course of eight weeks they were given either 50 mg of curcuminoids in the form of 250 mg of the enhanced curcumin supplement, 200 mg of curcuminoids in the form of 1,000 mg of the enhanced curcumin supplement or a placebo. The enhanced curcumin supplement used was shown to result in 45.9 fold greater absorption over standard curcumin in previous studies.
When the researchers focused on the participants who had lower flow-mediated dilation at the beginning of the study, they found that flow-mediated dilation improved by 2.8% in the 200 mg per day group. The placebo group had a 0.8% decrease and no change was noted in the 50 mg group.
Researchers from Texas Christian University and Massey University in New Zealand conducted the study. It was published in the April 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal.
Curcumin has been used in folk remedies for years to ease menstrual cramping, help heal wounds, and to improve the appearance of skin. Yellow curry is a great source of curcumin, but if your stomach can’t handle curry, you don’t care for Indian food, or you want a high dose of curcumin like the one used in this study, you can take a high quality supplement.