Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mode of action of curcumin establlished ?

In India, turmeric (Haldi-in Hindi, Arishin-in Kannada) has been used in food preparation. Curcumin (see the structure left side, is the principal curcuminoid). We used to read about its many properties like antitumour, antioxidant, antimyloid, antiarthritic and many others. Though scientific explanations were not established, still then our forefathers used turmeric for many centuries. Even it has been used in home remedies for cold, cough and as an antiseptic etc. But so for a little was known about the mode of action or how actually it works inside the body. Thanks to Dr.Rammoorthy, a professor of chemistry and biophysics at University of Michigan, has come up with explanation for this.

The authors claims that "curcumin acts as a disciplinarian, inserting itself into cell membranes and making them more orderly, a move that improves cells' resistance to infection and malignancy. More interesting is the technique they use is solid-state NMR spectroscopy(two-dimensional solid-state NMR technique). This technique which is unique helps to reveal atom-level details of these important molecules and the membranous milieu in which they operate.

In a related line of research, Ramamoorthy's team is using the same methods to investigate the effects of curcumin on the formation of amyloids---clumps of fibrous protein believed to be involved in type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and many other maladies. Congrats, Dr.Rammoorthy, for this achievement. If proven further details, hope something intersting and useful info for mankind. More..

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