Turmeric may help with asthma control in children: Brazilian study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / sommail
© Getty Images / sommail
Powdered turmeric may help with asthma control in children, suggests a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II clinical trial from Brazil.

Scientists from the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Ribeirao Preto report that, in addition to standard treatment, powdered turmeric consumption led to less waking up at night, less frequent use of medication, and “better disease control” compared to placebo.

The potential respiratory benefits of turmeric were linked to its potent anti-inflammatory activity, which has been reported in animal studies in the past.

The study adds to the ever-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

Curcumin and turmeric

The study adds to the ever-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.

The ingredient is experiencing blockbuster growth in some markets, most notably the US. According to the 2017 Herb Market Report​ published by the American Botanical Council (HerbalGram​ 119), turmeric is the number one selling herb in the natural channel, with $50.3 million (12% growth year-over-year). It is number five in the mass channel (MULO) with $32.5 million in sales (48% growth y-o-y).

The new study used turmeric that was simply powdered and encapsulated. Each capsule contained 250 mg of powdered turmeric, providing 11 mg of curcumin and 2 mg of demethoxycurcumin.

The scientists recruited 55 children and adolescents with persistent asthma and randomly assigned them to receive a maltodextrin placebo or the turmeric capsules (30 mg/kg/day) for six months, in addition to standard treatment.

Results

Data from the 34 participants who completed the study indicated that both groups experienced improvements in symptom frequency, and the impact of asthma on their daily lives decreased, but only participants in the turmeric group experiences less waking up at night, less frequent use of medication (short-acting beta-adrenergic agonists), and “better disease control” at both three and six months.

The researchers noted that their study used a relatively low dose of turmeric, and “one can speculate that, should a larger dose be used, differences on other aspects could be observed”.

They also noted that caution should be used when generalizing their results to “all asthmatic patients in other settings since our population consisted mostly of patients with moderate and severe asthma”​.

Source: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 238, Page 111882, doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.111882
“Curcuma longa L. ameliorates asthma control in children and adolescents: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial”
Authors: G. Manarin et al.

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