The global race for an Ebola drug or vaccine is on, with hundreds of millions of dollars of resources invested, but could our best bet already be hiding in plain sight within our spice racks?
A new study published in the journal In Vivo titled,”Curcumin Suppression of Cytokine Release and Cytokine Storm. A Potential Therapy for Patients with Ebola and Other Severe Viral Infections,” has raised an intriguing possibility: that one of the world’s most prized spices could provide an effective treatment against deadly viruses like Ebola that have no known conventional treatment to date.
Turmeric is about 3-5% curcumin by dry weight. It is one of the most extensively researched substances on the planet, with over 1540 studies available to view on our database alone. Amazingly, it has been identified to have potential or actual therapeutic value in over 600 health conditions.
The discovery that it may also be an important anti-Ebola agent while new, is not surprising, given how profoundly it appears to ameliorate hundreds of causes of physical suffering, many of them associated with opportunistic infections with viruses, parasites and bacteria.
The study findings are summarized in the abstract succinctly:
Background: The terminal stage of Ebola and other viral diseases is often the onset of a cyotkine storm, the massive overproduction of cytokines by the body’s immune system.
Materials and Methods: The actions of curcumin in suppressing cytokine release and cytokine storm are discussed.
Results: Curcumin blocks cytokine release, most importantly the key pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin- 1, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α. The suppression of cytokine release by curcumin correlates with clinical improvement in experimental models of disease conditions where a cytokine storm plays a significant role in mortality.
Conclusion: The use of curcumin should be investigated in patients with Ebola and cytokine storm. Intravenous formulations may allow achievement of therapeutic blood levels of curcumin.
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