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THE VERY BEST OF
FERMENTED TURMERIC

The metabolites obtained by bioprocesses can represent an answer to the different problems of our world, such as the ones linked to health and wellness. The risk factors to which we are exposed daily do not affect humans only: the pet animals’ welfare and a good management of farming play a role of the utmost importance.

Animals, just like humans, undergo stressful and harmful situations, which can lead to inflammatory phenomena. The inflammation represents the inborn immunity first and important line of defense, which – if not properly regulated – can cause systemic inflammation and chronic diseases with severe consequences.

One of the most effective goals is to influence the regulation of the inflammatory genes expression and then to increase anti-inflammatory mediators. Meanwhile, in order to tackle the effects of the inflammations, action should be taken on ROS: oxidative stress may have multiple and severe consequences on the whole organism.

Curcumin benefits

Therefore, as a starting point, turmeric has been chosen thanks to its remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties able to regulate the cell signaling through its polyphenols: the curcuminoids. Experimental and clinical studies have confirmed the safety of intaking curcumin, with subsequent endorsement of its implementation on the part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a root vegetable of Asian origin, grown mainly in India and on the Island of Java. It has many beneficial properties recognized by the traditional medicine (not only by the alternative one) validated by different preclinical (namely tested on animals) and clinical (namely tested on humans) studies. It acts and modulated molecular targets, carries out various biological activities (such as detoxifying, analgesic, neuroprotective, antirheumatic actions), improves cognitive functions, prevents bacterial infections, strengthens the immune system, and has digestive, carminative and anticancer properties.

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Antioxidant and detoxifying actions

Some environmental factors may induce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), namely the release of free radicals, the cause for the arising of oxidative stress. However, ROS and RNS produced by our body – when their concentration is right – carry out important physiological functions such as the maturation of cell structures and the regulation of the bloodstream. They are also employed by some cells of the immune system as weapons against cancer cells and infectious agents responsible for infections. Thus, the problems arise when the balance between the production and/or storage of free radical and the cell antioxidant defenses fails. In order to fight the oxidative stress, the body uses antioxidants, substances that can be produced by the organism itself or supplied through the diet. In this case, the curcumin acts as an efficient scavenger against ROS and RNS and, upon reaching the gastrointestinal tract, it exerts a protective effect in the mucosa against the DNA oxidative damage. Besides this direct antioxidant activity, the curcumin triggers the expression of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes, suitable to protect cells from the oxidative stress.

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TURMERIC AND INTESTINE

The curcumin has soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bloating effects on bowel muscles. It acts on intestinal cells, by counteracting the inflammation.

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TURMERIC AND LIVER

The curcumin has showed positive effects on the liver, mainly for the treatment of hepatic diseases, such as steatosis and cancer: it is indeed capable of reaching hepatic cells, protecting them and acting as antioxidant, thus counteracting the formation of free radicals. This plant considerably reduces the transaminase levels in the blood and cholesterol in liver and kidneys; therefore, it is useful to sustain the digestive function. In particular, it has been shown how it manages to protect cells from a series of toxic substances, among which the aflatoxin.

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TURMERIC FOR PET ANIMALS

The administration of curcumin to animals through food represents a valid and efficient support with no side effects for fighting damages from free radicals, helping tackle the articular inflammation and the cellular aging. Therefore, it is used in the treatment of different disorders that have a chronic or acute inflammatory mechanism at their basis. In fact, the topical application of a gel based on curcumin is able to reduce the gingival bleeding and the proliferation of periodontal bacteria.

Bioavailability and efficiency

The curcumin is one of the most studied substances of vegetable origin for its antioxidant and chemopreventive properties, together with lycopene (from tomatoes), genistein (from soy), resveratrol (from red wine), quercetin (from onions, capers and many other vegetables) and epigallocatechin-3 gallate (from green tea). Although the turmeric in itself is a powerful medicinal spice, it presents a poor bioavailability, a difficulty in the extraction of its active substance and a poor palatability because of its quick metabolism in the yeast and in the intestinal wall, with a consequent suboptimal absorption by the organism and direct elimination through feces.

In order to obtain a useful nutraceutical to add to the animal diet, we have chosen the fermentation process with the support of Aspergillus oryzae, able to produce high quantities of enzymes that act on the root yeasts, releasing curcuminoids and exponentially increasing the bioavailability of the active substance, “overcoming the obstacle” of digestion. Moreover, fermentations are able to improve the organoleptic characteristics of the product, through the release of new aromas.

We have also analysed the relation between the fermented turmeric with A. oryzae and immune system: the extract of the fermentation had immunomodulant properties, useful both for counteracting the excessive inflammatory responses and for ensuring the proper functioning of the natural killer cells. From laboratory tests, it was possible to reach the production level, by optimizing the management of the fermentation process and – thanks to formulation downstream steps – we obtain a highly effective, stable and concentrated powdered final product.

The final result of the production process has been reflected in the creation of Akropower, an innovative product that has the fermented turmeric as main component, with the aim of providing a support able to restore the altered metabolic processes and the formation of proinflammatory cytokines and free radicals, all in a biologically active way.