Ever wondered!! What keeps us so lively, outfitted and enthusiastic all the time. What keeps our body active, even when we are in deep sleep? Yes, every human soul on this earth is alive due to the uninterrupted efforts of the principal organ in the body, the Heart. The heart starts beating since you are in the womb, shortly after conception, but when it takes a definite pause, just all dreams are shattered and the once lively things cease to exist. Human heart is of the size of a fist but it is the strongest muscle in the body. The deteriorating quality of life due to the extrinsic factors like lifestyle changes, polluted air, had made this organ so vulnerable to different diseases.
Cardiac diseases are one of the foremost causes of mortality in industrialized as well as, the developing nations. It is a global phenomenon. This particularly affects the individual during the productive years of life causing social, economic, and catastrophic repercussions. Most of the time treatment involves surgery or prolonged medications, which causes financial as well as emotional drain off. Owing to this, herbal medications have started gaining popularity among the people. Curcumin is one such extract of the most easily available herb, Turmeric.

Cardiovascular disease

Heart Disease is a collective term referring to Coronary heart disease, Rheumatic heart disease, Congenital heart diseases (anomalies present by birth), Peripheral arterial disease, Aortic aneurysm, Hypertensive heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. According to the World Health Organization, about 17.9 million people die from heart diseases every year accounts for 31% of the total mortality rate. An unhealthy diet, Physical inactivity, Tobacco use, consumption of alcohol, Obesity, High Cholesterol, and Hypertension are the major risk factors that increase the mortality burden of the disease.

Coronary Heart Disease

The diseases affecting the blood vessels supplying the heart are coronary heart disease. According to the statistics around 7 million people die every year due to Coronary Heart disease. Unhealthy diet, smoking, advancing age, Least physical activity, high blood pressure, Cholesterol on the higher side, and hereditary predisposition are the major risk factors involved in this disease.
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Rheumatic fever is a bacterial infection that causes damage to the muscles and valves of the heart.

Congenital Heart Disease

Abnormalities those are present by birth, like defects in the valve or chambers of the heart. Some of the risk factors include intake of medicines contraindicated in pregnancy
Aortic aneurysm
The dilatation and rupture of the major blood vessels from the heart i.e. Aorta is aneurysm. Chronic hypertension, some birth defects in the heart are the risk factors involved.
Other cardiovascular diseases
Other cardiac diseases like tumors of heart, diseases of the musculature of heart, diseases affecting valves in the heart.

Role of Curcumin in Heart Diseases

Turmeric is a widely used spice in the South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is having a great religious significance in our Indian culture. Instances of turmeric being used in the treatment of various ailments are available in Ayurveda and Unani. Ancient Susrut Samhita also has the reference of turmeric being used in an ointment for poisonous effects on the body.
Yellow-colored chemical compound present in turmeric exhibits a wide range of biological benefits. Anti-Thrombotic, Anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic activity of the chemical assists its cardio-protective action.
Bad habits and unhealthy diet is the major risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. It causes high lipid concentration in the blood leading to the deposition of cholesterol plaques in the vessels. This causes complete or partial blockages of the blood vessels precipitating in coronary heart disease. Antithrombotic activity of curcumin prevents the formation of blockages inside the blood vessels.
Also anti-inflammatory activity aids in reducing the inflammation of heart muscles thereby hindering the development and progression of the disease.
Curcumin being an anti-diabetic aids in the prevention of heart complications associated with diabetes.
We are living in a world where the quality of life is adversely affected due to the polluted environment. Modern research studies indicate that curcumin protects the heart from the toxicity caused by fuel exhaust particles.
As said by great Buddhist monk, “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos, trees, clouds, and everything”. 

Dr. Sarika Patil
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