Interview with Prof. Dr. Talin Barisani-Asenbauer
Your main field of research are inflammation and ocular infection. This is a widespread problem and an argument to be taken seriously. What do you recommend as a treatment for your patient?
First of all it is important to identify the evident causes, related to an inflammatory process, for which it is available a specific therapy, in order to start an adequate treatment. The principle objective is the control of ocular inflammation, to avoid complication and to protect vision. But often an inflammation or an infection could recur chronically. However in the rarest cases the eyesight is threatened and increases the risk of new relapses. In these cases are used immunosuppressive therapies for the control of inflammation and prevention of recurrences.
For lighter elapses, but frequent, an immunosuppressive therapy is not recommended. Nevertheless the patients complain a limited quality of life for these chronic relapses and they are hoping for an integrated therapy that could reduce both the rate of relapse both the symptoms. In these cases it makes sense to think to a supportive therapy with curcumin.
The potential of curcumin as a prophylaxis and therapy for a multiplicity of situations as inflammation, infections, cancers and metabolic disorders, is under study, because curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-angiogenic and hypoglycaemic properties.
There are the first signs of its effectiveness as an integrated therapy, for this reason I recommend patient to take supplements of curcumin.
Why it is necessary to take tablets, when you can easily find the turmeric over the spice’s counter?
The turmeric belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The ancient scripts of Indian Veda demonstrate that this plant was used as a remedy already 5.000 years ago. The turmeric produces the curcumin, which is also responsible of the yellow colour, to protect itself from external pathogen.
The curcumin is extracted from the tuber, however in its pure form is not sufficiently absorbed by the organism. A recent study demonstrates that, after assumption of pure extract of curcumin, it was not detectable in the serum. On the contrary a formulation of Curcumin-Phospholipids increases the bioavailability 29-times more and it reaches significative serum level.
What is the dosage and how long is indicated the therapy?
In principle it has to be taken once in the morning and once in the evening. For patient with problems in swallowing, the tablet could be also dissolved in water. In Norflo® a rapid disintegration and a good absorption are ensure by a patented formulation, Curcusol®. Patients refer first improvement after two months from assumption. The Norflo® could be taken as a long-term therapy.
NORFLO® could also be taken by children?
Yes. For children with inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders are proved both tolerability and safety of Curcumin-Phospholipids.
You already said that curcumin could be use for various inflammatory forms. What diseases can be effectively treated?
In Ophthalmology have been published the first results on the efficacy for uveitis, dry eyes, central serous chorioretinopathy, diabetic retinopathy and neovascularisation (AMD) in human and animal models.
In other subjects the Curcumin-Phospholipids has been used especially in functional gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis, and as a integrative measure in cancer prevention and therapy.
Prof. Dr. Talin Barisani-Asenbauer
Laura Bassi Centres of Expertise – Ocuvac (Centre of Ocular Inflammation and Infection)
Zentrum für Pathophysiologie, Immunologie und Infektiologie – Medizinische Universität Wien
Article published on Medical Network 2015, specialised journal in ophthalmology distributed in Austria (www.medical-network.at).