Mini Med School: Curcumin and Inflammation

January 30, 2023

Chronic low-level inflammation plays a role in many health conditions and diseases. Curcumin, which is found in the spice Turmeric, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects.

Dr. M.N.V. Ravi Kumar, Distinguished University Research Professor of Bioscience and Medicine with The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, is studying the health benefits of curcumin. He has found that “improving oral bioavailability of curcumin has led to enhanced clinical outcomes.”

Kumar presented his research findings during a Mini Medical School presentation Jan. 17 to participants of UA’s OLLI program.

“Inflammation is present in every disease and causes can occur from an uncontrollable diet, sleeping habits, obesity and even diabetes (specifically type 2),” Kumar said.

In his research, he experimented with rats with nano systems in diabetes and found that curcumin, a yellow chemical found in Turmeric, helps to alleviate the inflammation caused by the disease.

Curcumin is absorbed orally and can be taken with milk or in certain foods. Kumar cautions people to be careful about absorbing too much curcumin and to ask their primary care physician how much they should take.

He explained that improved oral bioavailability of curcumin offers renewed hope for treatment of secondary complications of diabetes, and that it will be interesting to study its combinations with traditional anti-hyperglycemic agents, such as insulin

The Mini Medical School lecture series is a collaboration of OLLI and CCHS, which operates University Medical Center.