British scientists discovered that curcumin in turmeric, if properly prepared, can save retinal cells from the attack of glaucoma that causes blindness.
Research led by University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London (ICL), two member schools of University College London (UK) has just been published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, targeting glaucoma. , also known as cataracts), the leading cause of blindness in the world.
Currently, glaucoma is still an incurable disease, the measures to slow down the progression of the disease are not strong enough according to the wishes of the patient and the doctor. Every year about 60 million people worldwide battle the disease, of which 8.4 million are blinded as a result of the disease.
Curcumin in turmeric has been shown by many studies to help protect human retinal ganglion cells, thereby stopping glaucoma or even reducing damage. However, if a patient eats or takes a medicine containing turmeric, they will have to take such a huge amount that it will cause significant digestive problems. In addition, the solubility and absorption into the blood of curcumin is very poor.
In the new study, scientists created microscopic nanoparticles containing curcumin, which increased its solubility by 400,000 times and quickly entered the bloodstream. These particles are put into eye drops.
Next, they gave two groups of mice the eye drops twice a day for three weeks, a small group of drugs containing curcumin in turmeric, and a small group of commonly used anti-glaucoma drugs.
The results showed that retinal ganglion cell damage in the group taking the curcumin-containing drug was significantly reduced compared with the other group. Not only stopping the disease, preventing blindness, this drug also has the potential to relieve symptoms. Curcumin is quite “healing” when put into the eyes, there are no cases of irritation or inflammation of the eyes.
However, scientists warn that you should wait for the drug to come out, not try turmeric directly. To be able to use eye drops safely, it needs to go through many stages.
Professor Francesca Cordeiro, from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, one of the authors, added that he and his colleagues also found that the drug could help in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the dementia that is a leading cause of premature death. top in the UK.
When curcumin is introduced into the retina, it can bind to the toxic beta amyloid protein that causes Alzheimer’s and make it easier for doctors to detect this protein under fluorescence during eye exams.