Turmeric Might Help Improve Cholesterol
Oh Sung Kwon, a kinesiology assistant professor at the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, is planning to test if a central component in turmeric may help with cholesterol and reduce the side effects of cholesterol medications.
This research aims to determine if an ingredient in turmeric can help individuals who take statins to reduce medication side effects and lower cholesterol levels.
Statins are a form of medication that can assist in lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity. Although statins are safe and effective, 50% of people who use them remain untreated.
SAMS, otherwise known as statin-associated muscle symptoms, including the stiffness of muscles, aches, and discomfort, are the most prevalent reasons patients discontinue the use of statins.
Currently, there are only a handful of therapies for SAMS, and none of them have reliable clinical evidence to support efficacy. To resolve this issue, Kwon is planning to look into the possibility of treating SAMS with the key ingredient in turmeric, curcumin.
Curcumin is a natural pain reliever and antioxidant—effective against inflammation. Additionally, these supplements displayed the ability to help treat muscle pain caused by acute injury, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.
Besides SAMS mitigation, curcumin can alter cholesterol levels in the blood by decreasing LDL-C, a type of cholesterol linked to heart disease.
Kwon will enlist 40 SAMS patients and randomly assign them to receive either a placebo or curcumin (in addition to statins). He will then look for changes in the presence of the patient’s symptoms and their severity. Kwon believes that using a combination of statins and curcumin on patients will be a more effective way to lower LDL-C cholesterol than those only taking statins.
The assistant professor is also planning to measure muscle oxygenation via handgrip exercises. These tests will reveal how well the mitochondria, which power cells’ biochemical reactions, are performing.
As researchers continue to learn just how well these turmeric treatments will work, there are plenty of quality turmeric supplements out there to try.
Photo by Nikin on Pixabay