Turmeric and Atherosclerosis

Tumeric and Curcumin Information


General Turmeric

Using Turmeric as a Spice

Turmeric and Alzheimers

Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory

Turmeric and Arthritis

Turmeric and Atherosclerosis

Turmeric and Cancer

Turmeric and Cataracts

Turmeric and Cholesterol

Turmeric and Crohns Disease

Turmeric and Cystic Fibrosis

Turmeric and Liver Disease

Turmeric and Psoriasis

Research Updates

Atherosclerosis is a disease affecting arterial blood vessels, in which fatty material, sometimes called “plaque,” collects along the artery walls. Plaque has three components: the atheroma, which comes from the Greek word for “porridge” and describes the soft, flaky, yellowish nodule that comprises the center of a plaque deposit; cholesterol crystals; and calcification at the site of older or more advanced lesions. As plaque builds up, it thickens and hardens, causing inflammation of the artery walls and blockage of the arteries themselves. Furthermore, the plaque may suddenly rupture and causes a thrombus (blockage) that drastically slows or even stops blood flow, leading to rapid death of the surrounding tissue. This is called an infarction. When the blockage occurs in the coronary artery, the resulting heart attack is called a myocardial infarction. However, atherosclerosis is not limited to the heart; it is a whole-body disease and thus can have an impact on the function of arteries leading to the brain, legs, kidneys, and other internal organs.

Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis, and is often referred to as a hardening or “furring” of the arteries. It is chronic and has cumulative effects: the disease typically begins in early adolescence, but may not be diagnosed or become evident until the patient has a heart attack, which can sometimes be fatal. For this reason, the medical field is interested in anything that might assist in treatment and prevention of the disease. Thus, many researchers are exploring remedies that have traditionally fallen outside the purview of the medical establishment, such as herbal compounds.

Studies have shown that curcumin, the yellow pigment that is the active compound in turmeric (Curcuma longa) may aid in reduction of the levels of LDL. LDL, or low-density lipoproteins are sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol.” These proteins are actually essential for the body’s proper functioning, because the purpose of LDL is to surround fatty acids and keep them soluble. However, excessively high levels of LDL are known to contribute to high cholesterol and play a major role in the development of heart disease. This is the case when LDL becomes oxidized. When LDL is oxidized, it turns into what is called “foam cells,” which accumulate in fatty streaks along the artery walls. Thus, researchers have focused their efforts on isolating compounds that might decrease the amount of LDL in the body and also prevent it from oxidizing.

A recent study was carried out involving 18 rabbits who, for a period of seven weeks, were fed a diet supplemented with lard and cholesterol, to induce atherosclerosis. The rabbits were then divided into three groups, two of which received treatment through ingestion of turmeric extract. The third, a control group, received no turmeric or indeed, any other treatment for their condition. The results of the study showed that the low dosage of turmeric (although not the high dosage) decreased the incidence of LDL oxidation. While further studies, particularly on humans, are required to develop these conclusions into a workable method of treatment, it would appear that turmeric has health benefits that extend beyond the anecdotal.

Other Links


About Us



Contact Us


Latest News

An RSS Feed of the latest turmeric news is coming soon!