Certain dietary supplements may offer benefits to spinal injury patients in relation to retaining some mobility after an injury.
A science team based at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), undertook a trial in which rats with degenerative spinal conditions were fed a diet containing omega-3 and curcumin, a yellow pigmented compound found in the Indian curry spice turmeric.
In the past, according to The Insider, these two substances have been shown to reduce inflammation and aid the process of cell repair.
The research team by led by Dr Langston Holly, associate professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. According to a press release from the University, Dr. Holly is quoted as saying:
“Normal aging often narrows the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord and injuring tissue. While surgery can relieve the pressure and prevent further injury, it can't repair damage to the cells and nerve fibers. We wanted to explore whether dietary supplementation could help the spinal cord heal itself.”
In the study, Newsmax notes, the use of controlled measures of omega-3 and curcumin helped to offset the impact of the spinal injury on walking ability with the rats. The rats were operated on in a way which mimicked conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. One group of rats was fed rat chow that replicated a Western diet high in saturated fats and sugar. The second group consumed a standard diet supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and curcumin. Rats fed a diet enriched with omega-3 and curcumin walked significantly better than the first group within a few weeks after the start of the trial.
The results may have implications for the treatment of people following spinal injuries. The findings were published June 26 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.