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Curcumin, a substance in turmeric,
may provide lasting protection against
potentially deadly lung damage in premature infants,
a new study led by an Indian-origin scientist has claimed.
Turmeric, a key ingredient in spicy Indian curry dishes,
has long been known to have medicinal values
and always been used by Indian grand-mothers.
Premature infants often need the assistance of ventilators
and forced oxygen therapy because they`re
frequently born with inadequate lung function.
These therapies can cause the infants
to suffer lasting lung damage and even death.
Researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute
at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed),
using disease models, found curcumin provided
long-term protection against this damage.
The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology,
Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology,
found curcumin provided protection against bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BDP),
a condition characterised by scarring and inflammation,
and against hyperoxia, in which too much oxygen enters the body
through the lungs, for up to 21 days after birth.
A previous LA BioMed study had found curcumin provided
protection for up to seven days after birth.
"This is the first study to find long-term benefits
of using curcumin to protect lung function in premature infants,"
said Virender K Rehan, the LA BioMed lead researcher who authored the study.
"Curcumin is known to have potent antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties,
making it a promising therapy for premature infants
who require oxygen therapy after birth," Rehan said.
*(article is based on the news of medical journal)

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