Curcumin may relieve radiation

Curcumin may provide skin relief after radiation therapy, according to new research from the University of Rochester.

Curcumin may provide skin relief after radiation therapy, according to new research from the University of Rochester. The study was published in the journal Radiation Research and was noted on nutritionaloutlook.com.

Curcumin's made from turmeric, a member of the ginger family. It's the compound that makes turmeric yellow. Turns out, it might help make radiated skin less red. Ninety-five percent of breast cancer patients experience dermatitis in response to radiation. University of Rochester researchers designed a study to determine whether curcumin might help them.

They gave 30 patients with non-inflammatory breast cancer 6 g of oral curcumin or a placebo daily while they were undergoing radiation treatment. Each patient was assessed weekly for a variety of skin health markers, including the radiation dermatitis severity (RDS) score, skin redness, pain, and a severe type of skin-peeling known as moist desquamation. Moist desquamation can be so invasive that it requires the interruption of radiation therapy to allow for wound healing.

After treatment, RDS scores were significantly improved in curcumin users over placebo users, according to the article. On a scale of 0 to 4, curcumin users had a mean score of 2.6 compared to 3.4 for placebo. Curcumin also appeared to reduce the risk of moist desquamation, as the condition affected 28.6 percent of curcumin users and 87.5 percent of placebo users.

Skin redness and pain did not differ significantly across the two groups, wrote the study's authors, but they noted: “curcumin’s success in lowering risk of dermatitis and skin peeling will warrant more research.”

Curcumin's been enjoying tons of attention from researchers. In 2012, there were more than one thousand studies published about the compound. Many showed how it could potentially affect chronic degenerative disease states based on inflammation.

For the business angle of all things polyphenol - from curcumin to resveratrol and more - check out the Nutrition Business Journal / Engredea monograph report: polyphenol edition.

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