Turmeric, a spice used in curry, may help prevent Clostridium difficile infection. Rattan Patel, MD, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and his colleagues found that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) inhibited the growth of different strains of C difficile in vitro.
In his abstract presentation at the ACG 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting, Dr Patel noted that the indigenous people of the Indian subcontinent have used turmeric for more than 2000 years to prevent GI infection.
“Turmeric has been shown to be relatively safe in clinical studies, with more than 40 clinical trials already performed in the United States,” said Dr Patel. “It’s likely that daily use of turmeric in hospital settings, in food products like curry or soup, can potentially decrease the incidence of Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea.” However, he cautioned that further study is needed to determine the mechanism of action of turmeric and the physiological effects.