Navigation Links
Like curry? New biological role identified for compound used in ancient medicine
Date:5/24/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. Scientists have just identified a new reason why some curry dishes, made with spices humans have used for thousands of years, might be good for you.

New research at Oregon State University has discovered that curcumin, a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that's known to be important in the "innate" immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.

This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP, is part of what helps our immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi even though they hadn't been encountered before.

Prior to this, it was known that CAMP levels were increased by vitamin D. Discovery of an alternative mechanism to influence or raise CAMP levels is of scientific interest and could open new research avenues in nutrition and pharmacology, scientists said.

Turmeric is a flavorful, orange-yellow spice and an important ingredient in many curries, commonly found in Indian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It has also been used for 2,500 years as a medicinal compound in the Ayurvedic system of medicine in India not to mention being part of some religious and wedding ceremonies. In India, turmeric is treated with reverence.

The newest findings were made by researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU and published today in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

"This research points to a new avenue for regulating CAMP gene expression," said Adrian Gombart, an associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the Linus Pauling Institute. "It's interesting and somewhat surprising that curcumin can do that, and could provide another tool to develop medical therapies."

The impact of curcumin in this role is not nearly as potent as that of vitamin D, Gombart said, but could nonetheless have physiologic value. Curcumin has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

"Curcumin, as part of turmeric, is generally consumed in the diet at fairly low levels," Gombart said. "However, it's possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract."

In this study, Chunxiao Guo, a graduate student, and Gombart looked at the potential of both curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids to increase expression of the CAMP gene. They found no particular value with the omega-3 fatty acids for this purpose, but curcumin did have a clear effect. It caused levels of CAMP to almost triple.

There has been intense scientific interest in the vitamin D receptor in recent years because of potential therapeutic benefits in treating infection, cancer, psoriasis and other diseases, the researchers noted in their report. An alternative way to elicit a related biological response could be significant and merits additional research, they said.

The CAMP peptide is the only known antimicrobial peptide of its type in humans, researchers said. It appears to have the ability to kill a broad range of bacteria, including those that cause tuberculosis and protect against the development of sepsis.


'/>"/>
Contact: Adrian Gombart
Adrian.gombart@oregonstate.edu
541-737-8018
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biological sand filters, a practical approach to combat poverty and inequality
2. Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
3. GEN reports on novel tools for deciphering biological networks
4. Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
5. Argonne scientists discover possible mechanism for creating handedness in biological molecules
6. Study finds most wars occur in Earths richest biological regions
7. Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods
8. Musicians have biological advantage in identifying emotion in sound
9. Unclear regulations obstacle to biological diversity
10. New explanation for a puzzling biological divide along the Malay Peninsula
11. CEL-SCI Corporation to Launch Aseptic Filling for Stem Cell Produced Therapies and Other Biological Products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... Accumen Inc. ... with medical equipment manufacturer, Spectrum Solutions, to provide COVID-19 saliva testing kits nationally. ... supply chain for more than 10 years. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, we ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 30, 2020 , ... Justin Zamirowski to lead upcoming launches ... focus on Type 2 diabetes and associated comorbidities. , Justin brings over 20 ... classes. As Chief Commercial Officer, Justin will lead Better Therapeutics’ efforts ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... A study has ... Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate typical noises in a ... device attenuated the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators and other bedside devices ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... SOUTH RIDING, Va. (PRWEB) , ... September 01, ... ... search firm for life sciences, biotechnology, and diagnostics companies, has announced the placement ... Technologies . Averill will be responsible for leading all financial operations and implementing ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... making available for free its new white paper – Simulated Transport Methodologies. ... into today’s biologics licensing application (BLA). In response, Modality Solutions shares an ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... R3 Stem Cell International is now offering ... 50 million stem cells total, patients may choose which extremities they would like treated. ... joints (BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2016). At R3 International, umbilical cord tissue is obtained from ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 29, 2020 , ... eSource has long been touted as the solution ... history of eSource, the reasons it did not take off as quickly as people ... the industry is moving towards capturing data electronically for clinical trials and then repurposing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: