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Turmeric may help reduce your tummy's size.

Byline: ANI

Washington, May 19 (ANI): Turmeric turmeric: see ginger.
turmeric

Perennial herbaceous plant (Curcuma longa; family Zingiberaceae), native to southern India and Indonesia. Its tuberous rhizomes have been used from antiquity as a condiment, as a textile dye, and medically as an
 may help reduce weight gain and suppress the growth of fat tissue, according to a new study on mice.

Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture.
 Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA HNRCA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging ) claim that curcumin, the major polyphenol polyphenol  

Any of various alcohols containing two or more benzene rings that each have at least one hydroxyl group (OH) attached. Many polyphenols occur naturally in plants and some kinds, such as the flavonoids and tannins, are believed to be beneficial
 found in turmeric, appears to cut weight gain in mice.

The research team studied mice fed high fat diets supplemented with curcumin and cell cultures incubated with curcumin.

"Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis angiogenesis /an·gio·gen·e·sis/ (-jen´e-sis) vasculogenesis; development of blood vessels either in the embryo or in the form of neovascularization or revascularization.

an·gi·o·gen·e·sis
n.
." said senior author Mohsen Meydani, DVM DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

DVM
abbr.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine



DVM

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA.

"Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets," the expert added.

Meydani continued, "It is important to note, we don't know whether these results can be replicated in humans because, to our knowledge, no studies have been done."

One of turmeric's components is curcumin, a type of phytochemical phy·to·chem·i·cal
n.
A nonnutritive bioactive plant substance, such as a flavonoid or carotenoid, considered to have a beneficial effect on human health.
 known as a polyphenol. Research findings suggest that phytochemicals, which are the chemicals found in plants, appear to help prevent disease. As the bioactive component of turmeric, curcumin is readily absorbed for use by the body.

Meydani and colleagues studied mice fed high fat diets for 12 weeks. The high fat diet of one group was supplemented with 500 mg of curcumin/ kg diet; the other group consumed no curcumin. Both groups ate the same amount of food, indicating curcumin did not affect appetite, but mice fed the curcumin supplemented diet did not gain as much weight as mice that were not fed curcumin.

"Curcumin appeared to be responsible for total lower body fat in the group that received supplementation," said Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

"In those mice, we observed a suppression of microvessel density in fat tissue, a sign of less blood vessel growth and thus less expansion of fat. We also found lower blood cholesterol levels and fat in the liver of those mice. In general, angiogenesis and an accumulation of lipids in fat cells contribute to fat tissue growth," the research added.

Writing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the authors note similar results in cell cultures. Additionally, curcumin appeared to interfere with expression of two genes, which contributed to angiogenesis progression in both cell and rodent models. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 19, 2009
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