12 January - 20 June 2016

Essential turmeric oils combined with curcumin increases curcumin ability to treat colitis

A study published in Scientific Reports by researchers from Baylor University, has compared the bioavailability of two curcumin preparations, a standard curcumin, and essential turmeric oils curcumin (ETO-curcumin) in an animal model of colitis. Previous studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin and have highlighted its therapeutic ability in a range of diseases including arthritis and depression as well as its ability to potentially prevent tumours.

A study published in Scientific Reports by researchers from Baylor University, has compared the bioavailability of two curcumin preparations, a standard curcumin, and essential turmeric oils curcumin (ETO-curcumin) in an animal model of colitis.  Previous studies have shown the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin and have highlighted its therapeutic ability in a range of diseases including arthritis and depression as well as its ability to potentially prevent tumours.  Goel et al. write that one of curcumin’s potential limitations is that it is poorly absorbed following ingestion and previous studies have shown that curcumin combined with essential turmeric oils increases its bioavailability by 7-10 fold. 

Groups of mice were pre-treated with either ETO-curcumin or standard curcumin at doses of 5, 25 and 50mg/kg over one week.  Following pre-treatment, the researchers induced colitis by administrating dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in their drinking water for 7 days.   The scientists used two control groups, both received no pre-treatment however one control group had colitis induced.  During DSS treatment the researchers evaluated the severity of colitis by measuring body weight, stool consistency, and faecal blood. After DSS treatment the mice were sacrificed and colon length measured and gene expression panels for inflammatory markers evaluated.

Although both treatments were found to provide protection against DSS-induced inflammation,  ETO-curcumin but not standard curcumin significantly prevented colon shortening.  The researchers report that another indicator of immune response is enlarging of the spleen.  Compared to the DSS-control group, Goel et al. found that the spleen of the ETO-curcumin treated group but not the standard curcumin group, weighed less, which they note is a confirmation of ETO-curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects. When the dose was doubled to 50 mg/kg, ETO-curcumin treated mice displayed “significantly attenuation of DAI (disease activity index)” from day 4 whilst in the standard curcumin group this reduction was delayed.  The ETO-curcumin group also had less severe intestinal bleeding compared to the standard curcumin treated group.  Animals treated with 50 mg/kg doses showed “significant alteration in the expression of inflammatory genes in both curcumin treated vs DSS control groups.”

In conclusion the authors’ state “the combination of curcumin with essential turmeric oils appear to exert higher bioactivity than standalone curcumin highlighting the importance of other components of turmeric for treatment of large intestinal diseases.”

RSSL’s can analyse for curcumin in turmeric. For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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