Just about every smoker has been told by his or her doctor to quit. Almost no smokers are able to quit smoking for good. But if you can not stop smoking, or you don’t want to, turmeric curcumin may help you offset the changes in your lungs that eventually cause frequent shortness of breath.
Cigarette smoke, a widely spread habit, is associated with a decline in cognitive function and studies have demonstrated that curcumin, an Indian spice, possesses a strong neuroprotective potential. Considering the relevance of investigating dietary compounds this study aimed to investigate the effect of curcumin on memory and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in brain structures and blood of cigarette smoke-exposed rats.
If you are a smoker, why should you care about lung capacity?
The simple fact is, the more lung capacity you have, the less you feel the effects of asthma, colds, flu, and COPD. You’ll feel better, and you’ll live longer if you have greater lung capacity.
Nicotine is associated with lung damage, cardiovascular problems, birth defects etc. Nicotine is one of the principal components of cigarette smoke. It is an addictive substance which affects the brain reward system. Though nicotine itself has not been shown to be carcinogenic, it has been shown to encourage the cancer-forming process.
What the studies say?
Medical researchers in Singapore, where a large percentage of the adult population smokes, conducted an epidemiological study of the possible relationship between a curcumin-rich diet and respiratory capacity, that is, how much air a person can take in a single breath. The researchers tested 2478 Singaporeans chosen randomly in a door to door survey, measuring their lung capacity with a device called a spirometer.
Curcumin-rich curries were found to be correlated with greater lung capacity in smokers and non-smokers alike. The average lung capacity in study volunteers who never ate turmeric was 1.57 liters. In study volunteers who ate turmeric at least once a month, lung capacity averaged 1.64 liters. In the volunteers who ate turmeric every day, lung capacity average 1.68 liters.
How it works?
Studies show that curcumin and its related compound reduce lipid peroxidation and raise the level of antioxidant enzymes while restoring minerals to normal levels. So, curcumin is a strong antioxidant and it protect lungs from nicotine induced oxidative damage.
Curcumin reduces chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and activation and migration of immune cells to lung fluid. It also prevents tumor formation in such cases. Researchers feel that curcumin treatment in premalignant phase can protect high risk COPD patients from developing lung cancer.
A lab study demonstrated that nicotine can stimulate cell cycle regulating factors in order to support survival of cancerous cells. A cell culture study showed that curcumin prevents such activation of nuclear factor-kappaB and its related genes in lung cancer cells, thereby preventing progression of lung cancer.
Bandyopadhyaya et.al proved that curcumin can protect from DNA damage caused by nicotine. Another study demonstrated that turmeric supplementation (1.5g/day) in chronic smokers prevents mutagen formation.
To improve or maintain your lung health, you could just eat turmeric every day. If you want to get the benefits of curcumin for lung protection, as little as 500 mg a day will support the health of your lungs.
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