Japanese curry is usually milder to taste and thicker in consistency than Indian curry. It may contain meat and vegetables, making it even more nutritious. Turmeric, used in curry, contains the antioxidant curcumin, which protects blood vessels. Cloves in curry contain an antioxidant (eugenol), which protects the blood vessels as well.
A rise in blood sugar after a meal (hyperglycemia) plays a part in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Hyperglycemia following a glucose load reduces the ability of the blood vessels to dilate (possibly due to increased free radicals), which may cause atherosclerosis. The present study was done to see if a serving of Japanese curry with rice would be able to improve blood vessel dilation in normal men.
Testing was done on 18 healthy males, aged 33 to 64. Some subjects received curry first, and some received a control meal first. One week later, each group received the other meal, and testing was done of blood vessel flow before and after each meal. The subjects fasted 12 hours before the meal and measurement one hour after the meal was previously determined to be optimum.
The curry contained ground beef, tomato, tomato puree, seasoning and spices, and the meals were served with rice. Curry contains curcumin, eugenol and quercetin, all with antioxidant properties. The control meal did not contain spices.
Flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), a programmed ultrasound test, was done on each subject before and after the meal. The ability of the brachial artery (of the arm) to dilate was measured. Blood samples were collected for testing glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, insulin, C-reactive protein, and malondialdehyde.
Fourteen subjects completed the study, and there was no significant difference between the group that had the control meal first and the group that had curry first. The control meal was found to decrease the flow through the brachial artery, and the curry meal increased the flow through the brachial artery.
CONCLUSION: A single dish of curry and rice was able to increase the flow in the brachial artery of healthy men, possibly due to antioxidants in the curry. This may help prevent cardiovascular events. Benefits are seen even in people without hyperglycemia.