Turmeric Heals Alcohol-Induced Brain/Liver Damage


A recent study - April 2013 - conducted in India at Panjab University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and  suggests that turmeric provides effective recovery from brain damage after a period of heavy alcohol consumption.

After 10 weeks of ethanol dosing, the scientists observed that 10 weeks of curcumin treatments resolved all the biochemical, behavioral, and molecular alterations that were produced by chronic ethanol intake. 

The study "Protective effect of curcumin against chronic alcohol-induced cognitive deficits and neuroinflammation" serves as yet another indication of this simple, inexpensive herbal spice to provide potent anti-inflammatory cellular protection in any area of the body.

Another 2010 study was conducted on the benefits of curcumin on liver of rats damaged by oxidative stress due to chronically consuming heated oil and alcohol. The rats were divided into 9 groups and given various combinations of ethanol 5mg/kg, curcumin 100mg/kg of body weight, 15% heated sunflower oil and 15% dietary sunflower oil. These combinations were given for 12 weeks after which the liver tissue and serum samples were collected and examined from the groups treated with curcumin, ethanol and the control group not given ethanol. All the rats given ethanol displayed signs of oxidative stress compared to the control group. However, the group receiving curcumin along with ethanol had less liver damage. This study shows that turmeric could be used to treat liver damage and oxidative stress caused by alcoholism.

Another 2007 study found that treatment with curcumin resulted in partially restoring daily hormonal levels in circadian rhythms in SCN caused by ethanol. Circadian clocks are found within the central nervous system of mammals. They are localized at a discrete site in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus (anterior part). This circadian clock is responsible for sleep / wake patterns and other important processes. In alcoholics, the functioning of SCN can get disrupted, leading to nervous system disorders like states of consciousness resembling amnesia, loss of memory, dementia, sleep disorders, insomnia etc.

Long term treatment using curcumin and other antioxidants seems to protect DNA from damage and protect the liver from harm due to oxidative stress caused by alcoholism. The conclusion was drawn in yet another study that turmeric could be used as a therapeutic treatment for alcoholics suffering from hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections.

Curcumin is the active ingredient of the food spice turmeric, which has been commonly used mostly in curries throughout Asia for centuries. Curcumin's beneficial quality has difficulty getting past the stomach and into the small intestines where it can be absorbed into the blood stream. That is why its traditional use in Indian curry base with cooking oil or ghee is most beneficial to aid its oil enhanced absorption.