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27 Mar 2013

Clinical trials highlight efficacy of curcumin for postmenopause

New research suggests curcumin can help prevent arterial stiffness, a major risk factor for heart disease in postmenopausal women.

Three new clinical trials have suggested that regular intakes of an enhanced form of curcumin can improve central blood pressure and the function of endothelial cells in the vascular system.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba found that regular intake of Theracurmin allows for greater absorption rates leading to these improved functions, which can diminish levels of arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women.
In total, three studies were conducted involving postmenopausal women living in Japan. This is a demographic group at increased risk of heart disease due to the natural withdrawal of oestrogen, which can cause a build up of bad cholesterol.
Study leader Dr Seiji Maeda said: "The results of the trial were consistent with the two preceding pilot studies which demonstrated the efficacy of curcumin on central arterial with hemodynamic and vascular endothelial functions of the postmenopausal women respectively."
The studies were all run as double-blinded and randomised placebo-controlled to ensure credibility.
"As Sir William Osler a Canadian physician in the 19th century put it, 'a man is as old as his arteries are'; stiffness of the central arteries alone is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases," Dr Maeda continued.
However, he said that the research made an encouraging case for the impact of curcumin, when taken with regular exercise, in significantly reducing this risk.

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