Turmeric Delays Liver Disease Progression
Scientists have found that the Indian spice turmeric delayed the progression of liver disease associated with autoimmune disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cirrhosis. Turmeric, known for its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties, stopped liver damage in mice that ultimately leads to cirrhosis.
Researchers say that turmeric is a natural product that could be useful for treating a variety of inflammatory diseases because it blocks chemical pathways involved in inflammation.
PSC affects approximately 6 per 100,000 individuals and primarily men. The average age of onset is 40. The liver disease often occurs in association with Crohn’s disease. PSC is a rapidly progressing disease. Primary biliary cirrhosis is also thought to be the result of autoimmune dysfunction that slowly destroys the bile ducts in the liver that carry digestive fluids that rid the body of cholesterol and toxins and can lead to scarring and cirrhosis of the liver. Both diseases can be fatal.
Turmeric, added to the diet of mice, was found to significantly reduce liver scarring and damage in mice fed turmeric for four to eight weeks, and was compared to a group not given turmeric in the diet.
Inflammatory liver disease can progress and be fatal. Current treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis includes the use of ursodeoxycholic acid, but the long term effects remain controversial. Liver transplant is the only other alternative. Turmeric could be a promising treatment for autoimmune liver diseases that are difficult to treat and can be fatal. The Indian spice has been studied for its beneficial role in reducing inflammation that leads to a variety of diseases.