Spices and Atherosclerosis.
Plain language summary
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Atherosclerosis, characterised by the accumulation of fat and inflammation in blood vessels, is the main feature of CVD. Common spices such as pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon and chilli may have effects on the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. In this review, the authors focused on the potential protective effects of spices, in atherosclerosis and CVD. Most studies to date have been carried out either in cell culture or in animals. These have revealed various potential mechanisms by which spices exert their beneficial effects, including anti-oxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties. There are some human studies evaluating the effects of spices on high blood pressure. Although saffron, turmeric, and chilli pepper had no effect on blood pressure, cinnamon demonstrated significant blood pressure lowering effects in patients with diabetes. Garlic has been shown to have the potential to reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. These studies provide information on the beneficial roles of spices in reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The types of spices consumed vary across cultures, and currently there are no available population studies showing that consumption of spices is associated with reduction of CVD nor any recommendations for the amounts of spices to be consumed. The authors conclude that the consumption of spices should be encouraged across countries to promote good health.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Atherosclerosis, characterized by lipid accumulation and chronic inflammation in the vessel wall, is the main feature of cardiovascular disease. Although the amounts of fruits and vegetables present in the diets vary by country, diets, worldwide, contain large amounts of spices; this may have positive or negative effects on the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. In this review, we focused on the potential protective effects of specific nutrients from spices, such as pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, cinnamon and chili, in atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms, epidemiological analysis, and clinical studies focusing on a variety of spices are covered in this review. Based on the integrated information, we aimed to raise specific recommendations for people with different dietary styles for the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease through dietary habit adjustments.
Tolerability of curcumin in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: a forced-dose titration study.
Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2013;56(3):277-9
Plain language summary
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterised by chronic intestinal inflammation. Conventional drug treatment is effective, but may cause adverse effects. The beneficial effects of turmeric on intestinal inflammation have been shown in animal and adult human studies. The aim of this pilot study was to test the tolerability of curcumin extract in children with IBD at different doses. The doses of curcumin extract tested were 500mg twice a day for two weeks, increasing to 1g twice a day for three weeks, increasing to 2g twice a day for three weeks. These doses was taken in addition to patients standard drug treatment. The curcumin was well tolerated at all three of these doses by patients who completed the study (nine children aged 11-18 years with IBD (Crohn's or UC)) in remission or with mild disease. Some symptoms were reported by the majority of patients during the study but these were mild, not clearly related to curcumin and did not require the dose of curcumin to be reduced. Two patients reported ‘gassiness’ at all three doses. Two patients with UC went into remission. Disease activity improved in patients with Crohn's. No participants experienced a relapse or worsening of symptoms during the study. This pilot study suggests that curcumin extract may be taken in combination with conventional medicine without clinically significant side- or adverse-effects, though larger studies are needed to fully assess the safety and efficacy of curcumin in children with IBD.
BACKGROUND Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation in the absence of a recognized etiology. The primary therapies are medications that possess anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive effects. Given the high use of complementary alternative medicines in pediatric IBD, a prospective tolerability study of curcumin, an herbal therapy with known anti-inflammatory effects, was conducted to assess possible dosage in children with IBD. METHODS Prospectively, patients with Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis in remission or with mild disease (Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index [PCDAI] <30 or Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index [PUCAI] score <34) were enrolled in a tolerability study. All patients received curcumin in addition to their standard therapy. Patients initially received 500 mg twice per day for 3 weeks. Using the forced-dose titration design, doses were increased up to 1 g twice per day at week 3 for a total of 3 weeks and then titrated again to 2 g twice per day at week 6 for 3 weeks. Validated measures of disease activity, using the PUCAI and PCDAI, and the Monitoring of Side Effect System score were obtained at weeks 3, 6, and 9. RESULTS All patients tolerated curcumin well, with the only symptom that was consistently reported during all 3 visits being an increase in gassiness, which occurred in only 2 patients. Three patients saw improvement in PUCAI/PCDAI score. CONCLUSIONS This pilot study suggests that curcumin may be used as an adjunctive therapy for individuals seeking a combination of conventional medicine and alternative medicine.