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Turmeric lowers heart attack risk post-surgery

New Delhi, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 NI Wire

Those, who have undergone bypass surgery has some good news to hear. Now the help comes from the kitchen. A study has found that turmeric may lower heart attack risk in people who has undergone bypass surgery earlier. Curcumin, the yellow pigment found in the spice contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Bypass surgery improves the blood flow to the heart. Though, while the surgery is performed with the heart stopped, the organ can be damaged by continued absence of blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attack for patients.

The new study says that the curcumins may reduce such risks when added to conventional drug treatments.

Further research is needed to confirm these findings said Wanwarang Wongcharoen from Chiang Mai University in Thailand, who led the study, says reports of American Journal of Cardiology.

Researchers at the Thai university conducted this study on 121 patients who had undergone non-emergency bypass surgery between 2009 and 2011. Half the patients administered with one-gram curcumin capsules four times a day. This treatment was started three days before their surgery and continuing for five days afterwards. The other half took the same number of drug-free placebo capsules.

The study revealed that during their post-bypass hospital stays, 13 percent of the patients who had been consuming curcumins had a heart attack, compared to 30 percent in those consuming placebo.

Taking into consideration any initial pre-surgery differences, Wongcharoen and his colleagues found that people on curcumins had a 65 percent lower chance of heart attack.

"It's very, very encouraging," said Bharat Aggarwal of the study. Aggarwal works with the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, which does research on the use of curcumins in cancer therapy, Daily Mail says.

Researchers say, it is possible that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may have helped reduce heart damage in the patients with heart problems.

--With inputs from IANS

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