Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, is a strain of bacteria that can wreak havoc on a weakened immune system. This form of staph infection can present itself as skin rashes and boils, or it may infiltrate the bloodstream, urinary tract or other organs through cuts or surgical wounds. WebMD notes that, though many such infections are minor, this particular strain doesn’t respond to many widely used antibiotics, making it considerably harder to treat.
But, according to a new study from the College of Pharmacy and Wonkwang-Oriental Medicines Research Institute at Wonkwang University in South Korea, one nutritional compound may be able to enhance existing treatments for MRSA.
“Under the selection pressure of exposure to antibiotics, microorganisms evolve to survive against the new conditions imposed by therapy,” the study abstract – which is available on PubMed – states. “Therefore, there exists a need to develop alternative natural or combination drug therapies.”
Because curcumin – the bioactive ingredient in turmeric – “has been found to possess many beneficial biological activities,” the researchers theorized that this compound could be used in conjunction with antibiotics to better address this resilient bacterium. The scientists discovered that administering curcumin supplements alongside traditional antibiotic treatments could create a “synergistic” effect that combated this strain more aggressively.
“[Curcumin] in combination with antibiotics could lead to the development of new combination of antibiotics against MRSA infection,” the researchers concluded.
This discovery adds to the long list of documented curcumin benefits. Past studies have shown that this impressive compound can act as a brain enhancer that may be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties have been tapped to ease rheumatoid arthritis pain, among other conditions.
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