Turmeric's Cardiovascular Benefits In Aging Women As Powerful As Exercise

Nothing can replace exercise, but turmeric extract does a pretty good job of producing some of the same cardiovascular health benefits, most notably in women undergoing age-associated adverse changes in arterial health.

Despite the general lack of interest by conventional medical practitioners in turmeric’s role in preventing heart disease, there is a robust body of published research on its remarkable cardioprotective properties, with three dozen study abstracts on the topic available to view on our database alone: turmeric’s cardioprective properties.

Last year, we reported on a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology that found turmeric extract reduces post-bypass heart attack risk by 56%. Now, we would like to bring attention to a remarkable study published in the journal Nutrition Research in 2012 that revealed that curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric and which gives the spice its golden hue, is as effective in improving vascular function in postmenopausal women as a moderate aerobic exercise training regimen. [1]

The 8-week long study involved 32 postmenopausal women who were assigned into 3 groups: a non-treatment control, exercise, and curcumin. Researchers ascertained the health of the inner lining of their blood vessels (known as the endothelium) by using ultrasound to measure flow-mediated arterial dilation, a well-known indicator of arterial elasticity and therefore endothelial function. A disturbance of the endothelial function is considered a key cause of the development of atherosclerosis.[2] Anything, therefore, that can prevent, reduce or reverse endothelial dysfunction therefore may reduce morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease.

Subjects in the curcumin group received 150 mg turmeric extract per day, for 8 weeks, supplying 25 mg of collodially dispersed nanoparticle curcumin. Their diet and exercise habits were unchanged during the study period.

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