Types of heart disease and cardiovascular disease are as numerous as are the causes and symptoms. Curcumin's role in treating the different types of heart disease and cardiovascular disease have been well studied and documented. A search of the PubMed database shows that many studies indicate that Curcumin has a protective role for the heart and the cardiovascular system.
A 2013 study looked at the 'Role of Curcumin in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A New Therapeutic Possibility'. In order to understand the study aims we first need to understand the terminology. Idiopathic means that the disorder appears spontaneously and that the cause is unknown. Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension is the blood pressure found in the lungs and the right hand side of the heart.
In Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, pulmonary vascular remodelling occurs which means that the blood vessels change shape and structure which negatively effects the blood flow in the arteries, the arteries narrow which eventually leads to heart failure and death.
Pulmonary vascular remodelling occurs as a result of inflammation. Curcumin is thought to suppress nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells or NF-κB, which is believed to be inflammatory and therefore Curcumin is believed to have a role in the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension by reducing inflammation.
Peter Liu at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in Canada along with other researchers studied the effects of Curcumin using a rat model of cardiac hypertrophy (Enlarged Heart). The study involved aortic banding which caused pressure to the hearts of the rats which resulted in hypertrophy (Enlarged Heart) and eventual death. Curcumin was given in an oral dose to the rats for a period of six weeks, this was after two weeks of aortic banding. The results showed a reversal of cardiac remodelling (Remodelling is an alteration in the structure or shape of the heart). Measures of contractile dysfunction also returned close to normal levels. The rats did not develop heart failure. It is believed that Curcumin could stop the development of hypertrophy (Enlarged Heart) and even reverse it in mice. Curcumin was also found to produce a reduction in scar formation and improve heart function.
Even at low levels of consumption, Curcumin supplementation has been shown to lower cholesterol levels as well as lowering triglyceride levels and reducing platelet aggregation. Curcumin also reduces the formation of oxidised plaques in the heart and multiple studies have shown that it can help slow and prevent vascular disease.
Curcumin has also been show to assist in recovery from profusion injury following bypass surgery.