Oral mucositis is considered a side effect in patients who undergo cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy and radiation.
In cancer, oral mucositis is caused by the reduced function of the immune system to protect the infection of open sores in the mucosa.
However, poor oral or dental health, smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol, female gender, dehydration and patients who had previously cancer treatment, have kidney disease are some of the most common risk factors that cause the onset of oral mucositis.
Most common symptoms of oral mucositis are red, shiny, or swollen mouth and gums, sores in the mouth or on the gums or tongue, pain in the mouth or throat, mild burning, or pain when eating food.
Some patients may also experience symptoms of difficulty swallowing or talking, soft, whitish patches or pus in the mouth or on the tongue, particularly the increase of mucus or thicker saliva in the mouth.
Some researchers suggested the onset of oral mucositis in most cases are associated with people with a weakened immune system, including the use of chemotherapy.
Dr. Francesco Chiappelli wrote, "Mucositis is observed in a variety of immunosuppressed patients, but is most often consequential to cancer therapy. It appears as early as the third day of the intervention, and is usually established by Day 7 of treatment".
And, "The precise immune components involved in the etiology of mucositis are unclear, but evidence-based research (EBR) data has shown that applications of granulocyte–macrophage-colony stimulating factor prevent the onset of the exacerbation of oropharyngeal mucositis".
Turmeric is a perennial plant in the genus Curcuma, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia.
The herb has been used in traditional medicine as anti-oxidant, hypoglycemic, colorant, antiseptic, wound healing agent, and to treat flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss, ulcers, eczema, inflammations, etc.
With an aim to find a potential compound for the treatment of oral mucositis(OM), researchers evaluated the effects of turmeric and curcumin in the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing chemo and/or radiotherapy by searching the database of Cochrane Library, LILACS, LIVIVO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science.
After a two-step selection process, four randomized and one nonrandomized clinical trials were included in the analysis in which 2 studies suggested that topical application of turmeric/curcumin as a gel or mouthwash showed a reduced grade of mucositis, pain, erythema intensity, and ulcerative area.
In other words, the topical application of turmeric or curcumin may be effective in controlling signs and symptoms of oral mucositis in tested patients.
Furthermore, according to the study of 72 golden Syrian hamsters induced mucositis (OM) by 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for 4 days randomly allocated into four groups: control, placebo, chamomilla, and a mucoadhesive formulation containing curcuminoid (MFC)
* On day 5, all groups exhibited OM
* On day 8, both MFC and chamomilla groups exhibited better-wound healing compared to other groups.
* Moreover, also on day 8, the MFC group demonstrated inhibited protein associated with stimulating new blood vessel for the OM to grow and proinflammatory cytokines to facilitate symptoms of OM, compared to placebo and control group.
Collectively, Dr. Schmidt TR, the lead scientist wrote in the final report, "these findings suggest that MFC has a therapeutic effect on OM, accelerating wound healing through re-epithelization and anti-inflammatory action as modulation of angiogenesis and TGF-β1 expression".
Taken altogether, turmeric processed abundantly bioactive compound curcumin may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of OM, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.
Intake of turmeric in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.
(1) Effects of turmeric and curcumin on oral mucositis: A systematic review by Normando AGC1, de Menêses AG2, de Toledo IP1,3, Borges GÁ1, de Lima CL1, Dos Reis PED2, Guerra ENS. (PubMed).
(2) Mucoadhesive formulation containing Curcuma longa L. reduces oral mucositisinduced by 5-fluorouracil in hamsters by Schmidt TR1, Curra M1, Wagner VP1, Martins MAT1,2, de Oliveira AC3, Batista AC4, Valadares MC5, Marreto RN3, Martins MD. (PubMed)
(3) The Molecular Immunology of Mucositis: Implications for Evidence-Based Research in Alternative and Complementary Palliative Treatments by Francesco Chiappelli. (PMC)
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