Curcumin Shows an Alternative Approach to Protect Against Vitiligo Progression – Study Says

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by appearance of while patches on different body parts like face, arms, hands, feet, lips, groin, armpits, around mouth, eyes, etc. It slowly spreads throughout the body.

Vitiligo occurs because of destruction of melanocyte cells which are responsible for pigmentation. The actual cause of Vitiligo is still not known.

People take oral or topical medicines, surgery, sunscreens, cosmetics or counseling and support.

All these treatments are aimed to help in the restoration of color of the affected parts. However, in most cases they do not work and some of them may have side effects too.

Turmeric for Vitiligo Treatment

Turmeric is a great Indian spice widely used in almost every kitchen to give a golden yellow color and flavor to the curry.

It also has excellent medicinal properties that have made it a popular ancient Ayurvedic remedy for a large number of diseases and health ailments.

It is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti- cancer and anti- microbial agent.

Turmeric owes most of its therapeutic properties to Curcumin, the phytochemical compound present in it which also gives turmeric its yellow color .

Let us see with the help of a research study if Curcumin can be of any help as far as Vitiligo is concerned.

Degradation of melanocytes in Vitiligo is possibly because of oxidative stress.

Keratin-producing epidermal cells called keratinocytes, of the perilesional skin are damaged.

In the following study scientists explored that Curcumin might be helpful in inhibiting Vitiligo progression because of its anti-oxidant properties.

The research involved 12 patients diagnosed with non-segmental Vitiligo.

Biopsies were taken from their perilesional skin and the intracellular pathways which bring about keratinocyte damage and apoptosis as well as the effects of Curcumin and capsaicin on them were studied.

Raised activated P38, NF-KB p65, p53, Smac/DIABLO protein levels and reduced ERK phosphorylation were found in the keratinocytes of perilesional skin.

P38 is involved in apoptosis, inflammation senescence and tumor suppression , NF-kb p65 subunit produces inflammatory and immune responses , p53 is a tumor suppressor gene and Smac/DIABLO proteins also play an important role in apoptosis .

It was also found that the powerful anti-oxidant properties of Curcumin and capsaicin led to an increase in ERK phosphorylation and suppression of apoptosis in keratinocytes.

Pretreatment with these two agents led to suppression of capcase activation, ROS generation, and lipid peroxidation and enhanced anti-oxidant capacity and mitochondrial activity in the cells.

To summarize

Vitiligo is a skin disorder characterized by white patches on various body parts caused due to damaged keratin producing cells, keratinocytes and melanin producing cells, melanocytes as well as oxidative stress in the cells.

Currently available treatments are not very effective and may also cause side effects.

Therefore, natural plant-based products like Curcumin or capsaicin with powerful anti-oxidant properties might be effective against the progression of the disease.

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