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Lower CRP levels associated with curcuminoid supplementation in meta-analysis

Lower CRP levels associated with curcuminoid supplementation in meta-analysis

Friday, August 16, 2013. The results of a meta-analysis described online on August 7, 2013 in the journal Phytotherapy Research reveal a reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation) in clinical trials that compared the effects of curcuminoids to those of a placebo. Curcuminoids are polyphenolic compounds that include curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin, which occur in the spice turmeric. The compounds are known to have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as other benefits.

For the meta-analysis, Amirhossein Sahebkar of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Iran selected six trials that included a total of 172 subjects who received curcuminoids and 170 who received placebos for periods ranging from six days to three months. The analysis concluded that C-reactive protein values were lower by 6.44 milligrams per liter (mg/L) among participants who received curcuminoids in comparison with those who received a placebo. (Less than 10 mg/L is considered a normal CRP level; however, an optimal range is less than 1.0 mg/L in women and below 0.55 mg/L in men.) Significant effects were observed in studies involving at least four weeks of treatment duration with curcumin supplements that featured improved bioavailability.

Mechanisms involved in cucurminoids' ability to lower CRP include suppression of the nuclear factor kappa B pathway involved in the production of proinflammatory cytokines as well as an ability to reduce the expression and/or release of proinflammatory cytokines via interaction with other signaling pathways, transcription factors and receptors. "It remains to be elucidated by prospective trials if addition of curcuminoids to statins, as the most widely prescribed drug class in cardiovascular disease patients and currently the best known type of CRP-lowering agents, leads to a significantly greater reduction in CRP levels and incidence of primary and secondary CVD events," Dr Sahebkar writes.

"Supplementation with curcuminoids may reduce circulating CRP levels," he concludes. "This effect appears to depend on the bioavailability of curcuminoids preparations and also duration of supplementation. Future well-designed and long-term trials are warranted to verify this effect of curcuminoids."

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Any way you look at it, higher dietary antioxidant capacity linked with less inflammation

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An article published on October 30, 2012 in Nutrition Journal that compares the effect of four different assays of dietary total antioxidant capacity (TAC) on inflammation found an anti-inflammatory effect for higher dietary antioxidant intake as determined by all assays.

The study included 443 healthy Japanese women aged 18 to 22 years. Diet history questionnaire responses were used to assess dietary total antioxidant capacity via the following assays of commonly consumed food items: ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP). Blood samples were analyzed for serum C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of inflammation) and other values.

Elevated serum CRP levels of 1 milligram per liter or higher were uncovered in 5.6 percent of the subjects. Those whose diets had a high total antioxidant capacity as determined by FRAP had a 61 percent lower risk of elevated CRP compared to those whose diets had low values. High total antioxidant capacity as assessed via ORAC also had a protective effect although the researchers did not consider it significant. TEAC and TRAP assays indicated 68 percent and 69 percent lower risks of elevated CRP in association with high total antioxidant capacity.

"The dietary total antioxidant capacity values of elevated serum CRP concentration group were significantly lower than those of normal CRP group," Satomi Kobayashi and colleagues write. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between dietary TAC and elevated CRP concentration in a non-western population."

"Dietary TAC was inversely associated with serum CRP concentration in young Japanese women regardless of assay," they conclude. "Further studies are needed in other populations to confirm these results."

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