Yet another study finds a potential benefit for curcumin, one of the active constituents in the spice, turmeric. In this test tube study, they found a mechanism that explains how it may be of benefit in treating a fatty liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). This is a disease that can develop in people who are obese, have type 2 diabetes and is sometimes seen in people living with hepatitis C infection. It appears to interfere with the activity of a molecule, leptin, that, when levels are increased, can causes stellate cells to increase production of molecules (collagen) that result in scarring (fibrosis) of the liver. They also observed other potential mechanisms for action for curcumin.
As the authors say, it is about time for some clinical studies among humans! It is a safe, well-characterized agent and many humans have been using it for a long time. Does it work? Should it be prescribed?