Not humble any more: Haldi helps fight drug-resistant TB, says study

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 26, 2016 18:48 IST
If validated, curcumin could become a novel treatment to modulate the host immune response to overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis. (Shutterstock)

Here’s another addition to the usefulness of the humble turmeric. An essential ingredient in Indian curries, a new study claims that it may also help fight drug-resistant tuberculosis.

In Asia, turmeric is used to treat many health conditions and it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and perhaps even anti-cancer properties, researchers said.

They found that by stimulating human immune cells called macrophages, a substance in Turmeric, curcumin, was able to successfully remove Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative bacterium of tuberculosis, from experimentally infected cells in culture.

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The process relied on inhibiting the activation of a cellular molecule called nuclear factor-kappa B. “Our study has provided basic evidence that curcumin protects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in human cells,” said Dr Xiyuan Bai, from the University of Colorado, Denver.

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The ability of curcumin to modulate the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis points to a potential new tuberculosis treatment that would be less prone to the development of drug resistance. “The protective role of curcumin to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis still needs confirmation, but if validated, curcumin may become a novel treatment to modulate the host immune response to overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis,” said Xiyuan, lead author of the study published in the journal Respirology.

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