Archive for July, 2014

The Importance of Funding Basic Science Research

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Hype and Potential Behind the Therapeutic Promises of Curcumin: From Alzheimer’s to Cystic Fibrosis

turmeric

Turmeric root contains biologically active curcumin.

Turmeric is a root belonging to the ginger family, and like ginger, is used prominently in oriental cuisines.  Owing its yellow color to a compound called curcumin, the root is probably best known as the spice used in curries.  Like its ginger cousin, turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  I’m not entirely sure how we know the timeline or how much truth is in that statement.  Nonetheless, I will parrot that as truth since we as humans often have this immutable faith in the supposed medicinal value of things we pull out of the ground.  As it turns out, there does appear to be some real potential medical applications, not with turmeric itself, but with curcumin.  Some of the claims are hype, some of them show a lot of promise with a little more research, and there may actually be some benefit in taking curcumin now.

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