According to a new study on rats, Curcumin may aid in reversing decreases in the diversity of gut bacteria after an ovariectomy (OVX) which may prevent weight gain often seen in post-menopausal women.
The study lasted 12 weeks. Rats were split into three groups: rats having undergone an ovariectomy and fed distilled water (OVX); a control group of rats who underwent a sham operation (SHAM); rats having undergone an ovariectomy and given Curcumin (CUR). The OVX group showed reduced gut bacterial diversity when compared with the SHAM group. The CUR group however, displayed significantly different amounts of seven bacterial strains when compared with the OVX group. Rats in the OVX group also showed a significant weight gain when compared to the control group (SHAM). The CUR Group however, did not experience this weight gain. No estrogenic effects were seen in the group supplementing with the Curcumin (CUR) since it did not prevent reductions in serum estradiol levels or uterine weight loss.
OVX rats showed a higher ratio of phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut when compared with the control group. These specific bacterial strains have been observed to lead to overweight rats and have also been associated with obesity in humans. An additional benefit of Curcumin supplementation was a reduction in the bacteria Anaerotruncus, which has been associated with age-related macular degeneration and pre-natal stress. Researchers also found Curcumin reduced the amount of Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for certain stomach ulcers.
Curcumin is the phyto nutrient found in turmeric. It is a powerful antioxidant and has been show to support cardiovascular health as well as joint health in addition to a host of other promising impactful health promoting mechanisms.
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