Now a new study claims Turmeric has Zero medicinal properties

Turmeric(Curcuma longa) belongs to the ginger family has been used as medicinal herb and flavoring agent for over 5000 years. It even finds mention in an ancient school of medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. Turmeric is thought to possess antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric even used in case of wounds, insect bites and inflammation. The properties of turmeric can be attributed to a chemical compound called curcumin. Although many beneficial aspects have been attributed to curcumin so far no drug has been produced.


Now a new study claims Turmeric has Zero medicinal properties
In the latest study, Researchers say curcumin is an unstable, reactive, non-bioavailable compound and hence not possible for the development of the drug. Most drugs are tested based on their ability to interact with proteins. It was now found that, curcumin results in many false hits which imply, even though there is no interaction of curcumin with the protein, the results, on the other hand, confirms interaction. Such type of false hits are taken into consideration, and then proceed to the next stage of clinical trials, where a huge amount of money is invested, but ultimately there will be no result. These false hits have resulted in thousands of research articles and 120 clinical trials concerned with various diseases but did not yield any drug.

The researchers of the study say curcumin comes under the category of compounds called PAINS (for pan assay interference compounds), which are known to produce false hits. Inside our body curcumin breaks into a number of parts and each part gets associated with other compounds that possess biological activity and this is falsely touted to curcumin. Most surprisingly, it even confirms the common scientific technique of fluorescence used to know the interaction of proteins. The technique is commonly used to know if a chemical, interacts with a specific protein.


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The researchers even give an explanation of the role curcumin plays for a sore throat. They attribute this to placebo effects. In other words, drinking hot milk is responsible for the healing properties and not due to the effect of curcumin. According to Gunda Georg, co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry says much effort and lot of money has been wasted on curcumin research.

However, on the other side of the coin, there are scientists who feel further research must be done to explore the medicinal properties of curcumin. Take for example, Julie Ryan of University of Rochester Medical Center who is very optimistic and believes the compound deserves more study.  University of medicinal chemist Michael walters said that the review was a cautionary story for science, however, he was not confident the current review would stop baffling research.

The new study is published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

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