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02-02-2011 | Cardiology | Article

Turmeric extract shows antiplatelet activity


Free abstract

MedWire News: Curcuma oil, obtained from the turmeric plant Curcuma longa, has antiplatelet activity that could be used against intravascular thrombosis, Indian researchers report.

The antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory activity of curcuma oil has previously been described. It also has neuroprotective efficacy against rat cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury, note Madhu Dikshit (Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow) and colleagues.

However, the effect of curcuma oil on myocardial reperfusion (MI/RP) injury and intravascular thrombosis remains unexplored, they add.

The researchers therefore used a rat model to investigate whether curcuma oil (500 mg/kg) protects against MI/RP injury and thrombosis.

They found that curcuma oil did not confer protection against cardiac injury - as demonstrated by unaltered infarct size, creatine kinase-MB activity, and myeloperoxidase activity relative to untreated rats.

However, pretreatment of these MI/RP animals with curcuma oil resulted in a significant 12% reduction in adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation compared with vehicle treated controls, an effect that was comparable to that observed with aspirin (17% reduction). This indicates that curcuma oil "exhibits a specific antiplatelet mechanism of action," remark the researchers.

To further investigate the effect of curcuma oil on platelet aggregation, Dikshit and team performed platelet aggregation tests on blood collected from rats at 1 and 24 hours after curcuma oil treatment. They report that curcuma oil significantly reduced ADP, collagen, and thrombin induced aggregation, by a respective 31%, 28%, and 34% compared with untreated controls at 1 hour. The effect was sustained after 24 hours.

The researchers also found that curcuma oil had no effect on coagulation parameters (thrombin time, prothrombin time, and activated partial thromboplastin time), and only marginally increased the bleeding time by 18%, compared with a 110% increase for aspirin, which add weight to the suggestion that the antithrombotic activity of curcuma oil is primarily due to the inhibition of platelet activation.

The authors comment that curcuma oil poses an "exciting prospect for the future potential antithrombotic therapies," as it appears to exert its antithrombotic activity with minimal impact on normal hemostasis.

They conclude in the journal Thrombosis Research that further work should be carried out to evaluate the individual components of curcuma oil for their anti-platelet, anti-coagulant, or fibrinolytic activity, "in order to establish its potential therapeutic use for cardiovascular disease and thrombotic disorders."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Laura Dean

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