Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Antibiotics and turmeric together a bad idea: Turmeric has been an integral part of Indian kitchen for ages, but now researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) suggest that people on antibiotics medication should avoid turmeric for fast recovery

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Turmeric has been an integral part of Indian
kitchen for ages, but now researchers from the Indian Institute of
Science (IISc) suggest that people on antibiotics medication should
avoid turmeric for fast recovery.

A study conducted by the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and
Biosafety Laboratories, IISc, Bengaluru, reveals that curcumin, an
active chemical substance found in turmeric, interferes with the
efficacy of antibiotics like ciprofloxacin. Thus, antibiotics lose
their ability to fight against harmful bacteria. The IISc team tested
ciprofloxacin against typhoid bacteria in the presence of curcumin.

Turmeric has gained importance in treating various diseases, as a food
additive, and as a preservative. Many people consume turmeric tablets
as a daily dietary supplement. Some consume them to derive benefit
from the curative properties of curcumin. Moreover, haldi is added in
many Indian dishes including the delicious pulihora. Though turmeric
is good for health, it should not be taken while one is on antibiotics
regimen.

Typhoid fever is ever on rise across the globe and this disease burden
is a serious cause of economic loss, mortality and morbidity in a
developing country like India. Ciprofloxacin is the first line drug to
treat typhoid.

The IISc team demonstrated that curcumin inhibited the action of
ciprofloxacin by not preventing the ciprofloxacin-induced cleavage of
DNA. The study was published in the latest issue of the Journal of
Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Curcumin is a major dietary molecule among Indians and on an average,
a person takes 0.03 to 0.12 grams per day. As curcumin interferes with
the action of ciprofloxacin, the typhoid bacterial population
increases. The patient will take a longer time for recovery from
typhoid.

Typhoid is caused by Salmonella species. “The successful treatment of
typhoid patients is a challenge, especially in immuno-compromised
individuals. The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains further
calls for alternative drugs against typhoid,” the study noted adding
emphasing the effect of diet on the outcome of typhoid disease and its
treatment.

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