Friday, November 19, 2010

Tumeric cigarettes

I've always had a curious mind, especially when it comes to diet, herbs as medicine, health (both mental and physical), and quality of life. I am not perfect. I am a smoker of about 5-6 (sometimes a couple more when under stress) cigarettes a day; however, just because I'm a smoker doesn't' mean that I am not interested in health issues. I am a firm believer that eating fruits, vegetables, and taking certain supplements CAN really improve the quality of one's life, even if you're a smoker. However, the current anti-smoker church seems content on continuing on with their version of harm reduction, which inversely is anything but. Quit or die is the only option that we are left with, even as the FDA has been assigned with the job of reducing the negative effects of smoking. I oppose this approach, and so should everyone who actually knows or loves someone who is, or has ever been, a smoker. There are always going to be smokers; this is reality.

I simply do not believe that there is nothing that can be done to counteract the carcinogenic compounds in cigarette smoke. Sometimes it pays to be stubborn. The other day, after reading up on several studies that praise the anti-cancer compounds of curcurmin, I wondered what would happen if it was to be added as an ingredient in cigarettes. I didn't expect to find anything when I googled "turmeric cigarette", but much to my surprise, this is what I found:

Bubbling hookah smoke through heat-solubilized curcumin/turmeric and incorporation of the curry spice as an additive or filter in cigarettes to minimize tobacco smoke-related toxicants

"Current medical evidence suggests that there is little or no risk reduction associated with light and ultra-light cigarettes use compared to regular cigarettes, even though the majority of smokers think to the contrary [18]. Using curcumin/turmeric in the cigarette itself or dissolved in water (for hookah) may well change this on account of the well documented anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties of curcumin [2,9–12]. "

"Studies have shown a dose-dependent depletion of free radicals by the addition of the bioflavonoid pycnogenol from pine bark extract to cigarette filters [5]."

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Whoa Nelly!! Why isn't the FDA demanding that curcurmin and pine park be used as a form of harm reduction for active smokers? How many lives could be saved if this simple measure were to be taken? Is the silence on this issue a result of the mentality that smokers deserve to die?

....and that's not the only interesting study that I encountered:

Protective role of curcumin against nicotine-induced genotoxicity on rat liver under restricted dietary protein.

"Curcumin reduced the nicotine-induced DNA damage percentage of the liver tissues more significantly (P<0.001) in protein restricted condition. Curcumin proved its potential to function against genotoxic effect by reducing the DNA damage activity of nicotine and minimized the percentage of DNA damage (50-60%) in protein restricted dietary condition. Curcumin reduced the nicotine-induced DNA damage percentage of the liver tissues more significantly (P<0.001) in protein restricted condition. Curcumin proved its potential to function against genotoxic effect by reducing the DNA damage activity of nicotine and minimized the percentage of DNA damage (50-60%) in protein restricted dietary condition. The degree of nicotine-induced genotoxicity therefore can be effectively compensated by the protective effect of curcumin in protein stress condition."

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Curcumin combats against cigarette smoke and ethanol-induced lipid alterations in rat lung and liver.


"Altered lipid, lipoprotein profile and bile acid excretion were observed in CS+EtOH rats along with premalignant pathological state in tissues. In treated rats, the levels were maintained at near-normal levels along with near-normal histology."

"This biochemical picture on cotreatment with curcumin suggests that curcumin could counteract the injurious effects of combined CS and EtOH and thus might help to reduce the risk of hyperlipidemic disorders which develop due to smoking and drinking."


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Pycnogenol in cigarette filters scavenges free radicals and reduces mutagenicity and toxicity of tobacco smoke in vivo.

"Addition of the bioflavonoid pine bark extract Pycnogenol to cigarette filters depleted free radicals in a dose dependent manner. This was paralleled by a reduction of toxicity and mutagenicity in rodent test models. In this model system, the acute toxicity of cigarette smoke was markedly reduced by up to 70% in rodents with 0.4 mg Pycnogenol in filters. "

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...and there are more, a lot more studies on harm reduction, some of which study the effects of charcoal filters, etc.. When I have the time, I plan on reading up on these as well.

The point is this: We live in the real world, the anti-smokers do not. Abstinence only is a mirage that is costing the lives of real people. This is a human rights issue and it is time that we make it known as such. No one deserves to die needlessly, not even us smokers.

Get to work FDA.

4 comments:

  1. Great point and interesting research Juliette! I don't think I ever ran across that before. You should make sure Rose gets to see it too!

    :)
    Michael

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  2. The idea just came to me...then I googled it. You're right, Rose should see this...I thought about her as I was putting this together. I'm going to go ahead and post it on her thread over @ Forces. Thanks!

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  3. Interesting! I was one of those odd ball people who thought along the lines you did and googled "tumeric e cig" but I found this article.

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    1. You can find a lot of interesting things on Pubmed and on science blogs:-)

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