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Curcumin vs. aerobic exercise: Both promote significant & equal vascular benefits

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Curcumin vs. aerobic exercise: Both promote significant & equal vascular benefitsArticle:
Curcumin ingestion and exercise training improve vascular endothelial function in postmenopausal women
– Source: Nutrition Research, Oct 17, 2012

By N Akazawa, et al.

Vascular endothelial function declines with aging and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. [The vascular endothelium is a single cell layer lining the blood vessels. It has many functions including control of the vessels’ relaxation/expansion as blood flow needs dictate so that blood can flow through them without much resistance. Less responsive, ‘stiff’ arteries are linked to high blood pressure.]

Lifestyle modification, particularly aerobic exercise and dietary adjustment, has a favorable effect on vascular aging.

Curcumin is a major component of turmeric with known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.

We investigated the effects of curcumin ingestion and aerobic exercise training on flow-mediated dilation as an indicator of endothelial function in postmenopausal women. [In this test an inflatable cuff on the forearm constricts the brachial artery and is then released so that changes in arterial diameter can be measured.]

A total of 32 postmenopausal women were assigned to 3 groups: control, exercise, and curcumin groups.

• The curcumin group ingested curcumin orally for 8 weeks.

• The exercise group underwent moderate aerobic exercise training for 8 weeks.

Before and after each intervention, flow-mediated dilation was measured. No differences in baseline flow-mediated dilation or other key dependent variables were detected among the groups.

Flow-mediated dilation increased significantly and equally in the curcumin and exercise groups, whereas no changes were observed in the control group.

Our results indicated that curcumin ingestion and aerobic exercise training can increase flow-mediated dilation in postmenopausal women, suggesting that both can potentially improve the age-related decline in endothelial function.

Source: Nutrition Research, Oct 17, 2012. PMID:22421908, by Sugawara J, Akazawa N, Miyaki A, Choi Y, Tanabe Y, Imai T, Maeda S. Human Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan. [Email: maeda@taiiku.tsukuba.ac.jp]

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