BHUBANESWAR: A group of scientists claimed to have developed a medicine from turmeric which is beneficial for many diseases. Produced from nano curcumin, it can be used as anti-cancer, anti-TB and anti-malaria medicine.Lead researcher Prof Santosh Kumar Kar at KIIT University said though the medicine has not been applied on humans, it worked wonder on animals, including rats and dogs.“Turmeric (Haldi) has been traditionally used in our food for centuries not only because it spices up our curries but because curcumin, the bioactive polyphenolic compound provides some therapeutic benefits. Researches show that curcumin is not only non-toxic, it can give us relief from pain and help in wound healing, reduce inflammation and tissue damage,” he claimed.
As curcumin is very poorly soluble in water and whatever people eat in food goes into blood and shows very little effect, the scientists converted into a bio-available form and developed the nanotised form of pure curcumin to be taken orally for its therapeutic effectiveness. According to the researchers, the nano curcumin showed about five times better bio-availability than the natural curcumin. Its therapeutic efficacy has been tested in mice for various human disease conditions like malaria, cancer and tuberculosis.
“The bio-available curcumin, when fed to mice infected with the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii, the untreated mice died in a few days while the nano curcumin fed mice controlled the infection and survived,” Prof Kar said.
Encouraged by the observation, the nano curcumin was tested in a mouse model of breast cancer in collaboration with Prof Gaurisankar Sa of Bose Institute at Kolkata. It was found to modulate T regulatory cell responses and was effective in controlling tumour growth in the mouse.Prof Gobardhan Das of Centre of Molecular Medicine in Jawaharlal Nehru University at New Delhi, who researched on a mouse affected with TB, said the use of nano curcumin in the mouse along with isoniasid not only reduced the time for cure by 50 per cent but the liver at the end of treatment remains intact, the mycobacteria does not show much latency and the immune system of the mice remains intact.
A similar research done under their supervision at the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, OUAT by a team, led by Prof Jayakrishna Das, also showed remarkable effect on healing of critical wounds of dogs.Prof Kar said efforts are on to apply it on humans and introduce in the market as a food supplement if not possible as medicine immediately since it involves various administrative works.