Turmeric compound may help heal wounds via antioxidant effect

NEW YORK, Dec 26 (Reuters Health) — Laboratory experiments conducted in Singapore suggest that curcumin–a compound found in the spice turmeric–may act as an antioxidant that could possibly promote wound healing.

Curcumin has been used for centuries in India and other Asian countries as a folk remedy for treating wounds and ulcers, Dr. Toan-Thang Phan of Singapore General Hospital explained in an interview with Reuters Health.

The researchers exposed cultured human keratinocytes and fibroblasts to hydrogen peroxide. When curcumin was added to the skin-cell cultures, it significantly minimized the effects of hydrogen peroxide, the team reports in the November issue of the Journal of Trauma.

"The main finding in this study is that curcumin has a strong antioxidant effect against hydrogen peroxide on skin cells in culture," Dr. Phan said. "The finding in this study could explain in part the therapeutic properties of curcumin for wound healing," he added.

"I think that curcumin could be good for both acute and chronic wounds, but we need to demonstrate this scientifically," Dr. Phan commented. "The next step should be clinical study."

Last Updated: 2001-12-26 14:15:53 EST (Reuters Health)

J Trauma 2001;51:927-931.

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