Renal or kidney fibrosis is a progressive condition that results from the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, which can cause structural damage to the kidneys. It signifies a failed wound-healing process and ultimately leads to end-stage kidney disease wherein the kidneys are no longer able to function as they should.
The researchers reported their findings in an article published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.
Curcumin is an effective alternative treatment for renal fibrosis
According to several animal studies, curcumin can protect the kidneys by preventing the development of renal fibrosis. However, the mechanisms underlying this activity are still unknown.
To explore these mechanisms and the anti-fibrotic activities of curcumin, the researchers treated human kidney tubular epithelial cells (HKCs) with transforming growth factor-B1 (TGF-B1), curcumin and a combination of both. TGF-B1 is a protein that’s involved in many cellular functions, including cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and death, as well as the induction of EMT.
The researchers used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay to assess the effect of curcumin on cell proliferation. They also used immunocytochemistry, real-time PCR and Western blot to analyze the expression of epithelial cell markers (E-cadherin and cytokeratin), mesenchymal cell markers (vimentin, alpha smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibroblast-specific protein 1 (FSP1)) and key proteins involved in the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.
The researchers found that low-dose curcumin (3.125 and 25?micromol/L) effectively promoted HKC proliferation. After 72 hours of incubating HKCs with TGF-B1 and curcumin, curcumin caused the cells to maintain epithelial morphology in a dose-dependent manner. It also decreased the expression of EMT-related proteins, such as vimentin, a-SMA and FSP1, and increased the expression of E-cadherin and cytokeratin. In addition, the researchers noted that curcumin reduced Akt, mTOR and P70S6K phosphorylation, which effectively suppressed the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway in HKCs.
Curcumin from turmeric gained popularity because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, turmeric doesn’t contain high amounts of curcumin, and the compound is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of these, curcumin is usually taken in the form of supplements, which contain significant amounts of the compound as well as piperine from black pepper. Piperine is said to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000 percent.
Here are some of the health benefits associated with curcumin: (h/t to Healthline.com)
It helps the body fight foreign invaders and repair damage
It helps fight chronic inflammation, which is linked to the onset of life-threatening diseases
It increases the body’s antioxidant capacity, which is important for reducing oxidative stress
It helps improve brain function and lowers the risk of neurodegenerative diseases
It helps lower the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel function
It boosts serotonin and dopamine production and shows promise as an antidepressant
It helps delay aging and fights age-related chronic diseases
Curcumin from turmeric offers plenty of health benefits. Among these is the prevention or treatment of serious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and renal fibrosis. To experience these benefits, include turmeric in your daily diet or consider taking curcumin supplements. You can learn more about powerful compounds like curcumin at Phytonutrients.news.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3Trusted Source).
The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you.
Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues.
Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.
It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (10, 11Trusted Source).
Without getting into the details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (12Trusted Source, 13, 14).
Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens.
Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28Trusted Source).
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
It’s well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29Trusted Source).
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).
In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well.
One study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32Trusted Source).
Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.