- Amomoum curcuma, anlatone (constituent), ar-turmerone, CUR, Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma aromatica salisbury, Curcuma domestica, Curcuma domestica valet, Curcuma longa, Curcuma longa Linn, Curcuma longa rhizoma, curcuma oil, curcumin, curminoids, diferuloylmethane, E zhu, enhansa, Gelbwurzel (German), gurkemeje (Danish), haldi, Haridra (Sanskrit), Indian saffron, Indian yellow root, jiang huang (Mandarin Chinese), kunir, kunyit, Kurkumawurzelstock (German), kyoo (Japanese), NT, number ten, Olena, radix zedoaria longa, resveratrol, rhizome de curcuma, safran des Indes (French), sesquiterpenoids, shati, turmeric, turmeric oil, turmeric root, turmerone (constituent), Ukon (Japanese), yellowroot, zedoary, Zingiberaceae (family), zingiberene, Zitterwurzel (German).
- Enhansa®, manufactured by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy, is a dietary supplement that contains enhanced-absorption curcumin as the active ingredient. It is available as capsules or a powder and is designed to be taken once or twice daily.
- Curcumin, the compound responsible for the bright yellow color of turmeric (Curcuma longa), is believed to be the principal pharmacological agent.
- In general, evidence from human and animal studies suggests that curcumin may be poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. The manufacturer claims that Enhansa® may be 7-8 times more absorbable than standard curcumin extracts.
- The manufacturer also claims that curcumin may help treat autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) because it reduces the levels of inflammatory markers and other chemicals usually elevated in such diseases.
According to the manufacturer, curcumin may increase levels of glutathione, which may be decreased in people with autism or other developmental disorders.
- A clinical trial published in 2011 found that Enhansa® may improve language, reduce developmental delay issues, increase appetite, calm mood, increase immunologic activity, and significantly elevate blood glutathione levels in individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other cognitive, metabolic, immune, and gastrointestinal problems. However, larger-scale studies are necessary to further evaluate these findings.
Theory / Evidence
- Enhansa®: There is currently a lack of third-party research testing safety and effectiveness of Enhansa®. Human and animal evidence suggests that curcumin may be poorly absorbed into the bloodstream.
- The manufacturer claims that Enhansa® may be 7-8 times more absorbable than standard curcumin extracts. However, studies supporting this claim are not identified on the Lee Silsby website, and it is unclear where the information was obtained from.
- The manufacturer claims that curcumin increases glutathione within the cells; reduces inflammatory markers linked to autism; improves liver detoxification; chelates lead and cadmium and protects against mercury toxicity; and acts as an antiviral, antifungal, potential PPAR-gamma agonist, and NF-kappa-B inhibitor.
- A clinical trial of 22 subjects with autism spectrum disorder and other cognitive, metabolic, immune, and gastrointestinal problems found that Enhansa® may improve language, reduce developmental delay issues, increase appetite, calm mood, increase immunologic activity, and significantly elevate blood glutathione levels. Potential side effects may include emotional changes, anxiety, changes in stools, low-grade fevers, rashes, itching and sensitivity to sun exposure. There was one reported drop-out due to IgA nephropathy (kidney disease) symptoms.
- According to the study, Enhansa® is absorbed better when taken with food. The study also suggested taking two even daily doses to help to minimize side effects and ensure even distribution.
- This study was partially funded by the Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy, the manufacturer of Enhansa®. Larger-scale, well-designed studies are necessary before firm conclusions can be made.
- Turmeric/curcumin: It has been suggested that curcumin, the active ingredient in Enhansa®, may have beneficial effects for various medical conditions. However, supportive evidence from available human studies is unclear or conflicting.
- Antioxidant:In clinical research, a specific component of turmeric (NCB-02) had positive effects on endothelial function and its biomarkers in patients with type 2 diabetes. More well-designed human studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
- Blood clot prevention: Early research suggests that turmeric may prevent the formation of blood clots. More research is needed to determine if turmeric is effective for this condition.
- Cancer: Several early animal and laboratory studies report that curcumin may have anticancer effects against colon, skin, and breast cancer. The specific way in which turmeric or curcumin exhibits anticancer properties may be due to its antioxidant activity, its prevention of new blood vessel growth, or its direct effects on cancer cells. More research is needed to determine the potential role turmeric or curcumin has in preventing or treating human cancers.
- Cognitive function: Curcumin has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and to reduce burden due to plaque buildup in lab studies. However, there is currently not enough evidence to suggest the use of curcumin for cognitive performance.
- Dyspepsia (indigestion): Turmeric has been traditionally used to treat stomach problems such as indigestion. Some early evidence suggests that turmeric may offer some relief from these stomach problems. However, at high doses or with extended use, turmeric may actually irritate or upset the stomach. More human studies in this area are needed before a conclusion can be made.
- Gallstone prevention/bile flow stimulant: Early studies report that curcumin may decrease the occurrence of gallstones. Human studies are lacking in this area, and more research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
- High cholesterol:Early studies suggest that turmeric may lower levels of "bad" cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood. Well-designed human studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
- HIV/AIDS:Several laboratory studies suggest that curcumin may have activity against HIV. However, reliable human studies are lacking in this area.
- Inflammation: Laboratory and animal studies show anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric and curcumin. Reliable human research is lacking.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Early research suggests that Curcuma xanthorriza may have beneficial effects on IBS compared to placebo. More studies are needed to verify these findings.
- Liver protection: Early research suggests that turmeric may have a protective effect on the liver. More research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
- Oral leukoplakia: Results from lab and animal studies suggest that turmeric may have anticancer effects. Human studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
- Osteoarthritis: Historically, turmeric has been used to treat rheumatic conditions. Laboratory and animal studies show anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric and curcumin, which may be beneficial in people with osteoarthritis. More human research is needed.
- Peptic ulcer disease (stomach ulcer): Turmeric has been used historically to treat stomach ulcers. At high doses or extended use, however, turmeric may actually irritate or upset the stomach. Currently, there is not enough human evidence to make a conclusion.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Turmeric has been used historically to treat rheumatic conditions, and based on animal research, it may reduce inflammation. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
- Scabies: Historically, turmeric has been used on the skin to treat long-lasting skin ulcers and scabies. It has also been used in combination with the leaves of the herb Azadirachta indica ADR, or neem. More research is needed.
- Uveitis (eye inflammation): Laboratory and animal studies suggest that turmeric and curcumin may have anti-inflammatory activity. Poorly designed human research suggests a possible benefit of curcumin in the treatment of uveitis. Reliable human research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
- Viral infection: Early evidence suggests that turmeric may help treat viral infections. More research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
- This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
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- Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy Web site. Enhansa® product information.
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- Usharani P, Mateen AA, Naidu MU, et al. Effect of NCB-02, atorvastatin and placebo on endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, 8-week study. Drugs R D 2008;9(4):243-50.
Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.