Research: Turmeric and Treatment

Epub: Kanakasabai et al. Differential regulation of CD4(+) T helper cell responses by curcumin in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Nutr Biochem. 2012 Mar 6. 

Nutraceuticals and phytochemicals are important regulators of human health and diseases. Curcumin is a polyphenolic phytochemical isolated from the rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa (turmeric) that has been traditionally used for the treatment of inflammation and wound healing for centuries. Systematic analyses have shown that curcumin exerts its beneficial effects through antioxidant, anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory properties. We and others have shown earlier that curcumin ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model for multiple sclerosis. In this study, we show that C57BL/6 mice induced to develop EAE express elevated levels of interferon (IFN) γ and interleukin (IL)-17 in the central nervous system (CNS) and lymphoid organs that decreased significantly following in vivo treatment with curcumin. The EAE mice also showed elevated expression of IL-12 and IL-23 that decreased after treatment with curcumin. Ex vivo and in vitro treatment with curcumin resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in the secretion of IFNγ, IL-17, IL-12 and IL-23 in culture. The inhibition of EAE by curcumin was also associated with an up-regulation of IL-10, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ and CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) Treg cells in the CNS and lymphoid organs. These findings highlight that curcumin differentially regulates CD4(+) T helper cell responses in EAE.

One of our MS Bloggers had given us a tip about tumeric and MS, and MD2 has been looking into this. So it appears that great minds think alike and other people were on the case and seeing if tumeric could have some influence on neuroinflammatory disease.

This study indicates that it inhibits the generation of the growth factors required for white blood cell development. However, as with all these nutriceutical results it is a question of dose in animals and human appropriate doses because if you give enough brick dust to animals it will stop their MS-like disease. More importantly, as the probem is what do you do with this information? Who is going to fund a study of MS and tumeric?...Swartz.

As there is nothing to be made for such observations, it is unlikely that the drug will get developed. Do people/cultures that use Tumeric get less MS?