30 September 2010
By Mumbai Mirror Bureau
Arecently published study by Janet Funk of the University of Arizona College of Medicine adds to the literature supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric, showing that it may be an effective resource for preventing osteoporosis, or bone loss, a significant concern for postmenopausal women, among others. The study findings also point to characteristics of the turmeric tested that may determine its efficacy.
Funk, an endocrinologist, has studied turmeric for several years, working with carefully characterised extracts that have been processed specifically for her research.
In earlier studies that she conducted to assess the antiarthritic effects of turmeric, Funk discovered that it not only prevented arthritis, but also prevented the development of bone cells that foster bone resorption and bone destruction around the joint in a model of rheumatoid arthritis. To study whether turmeric might prevent bone loss occurring with postmenopausal osteoporosis, Funk’s team evaluated and compared two turmeric extracts analogous to those that are commercially available and marketed.
The extracts contained a mixture of three major curcuminoids – chemical substances also known as polyphenols that occur in turmeric in varying proportions. One was a complex turmeric fraction containing 41 per cent cucuminoids. The second, a curcuminoid–enriched turmeric fraction, contained 94 per cent curcuminoids and was by far the more effective in preventing loss of bone mineral density and trabecular bone, the spongy or porous bone found in the spine and hip, the types of bone areas that are most subject to fracture in post–menopausal women.
The study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.