Vietnam announces first nanomedicine success

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Vietnamese scientists announced Tuesday they have achieved the first successful medical application of nanotechnology with a cancer-preventing extraction from tumeric.

A group of experts from Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology said at a conference Tuesday that the nano form of curcumin, the principle ingredient of the yellow root, meets the standards of similar nanomaterials produced by the US, and are of better quality than Indian and Chinese products.

Professor Nguyen Van Hieu said in a Tuoi Tre report that curcumin can be used to treat stomach ulcers, liver poisoning and prolapsed uterus after childbirth. It can also prevent cancer, oxidization, and heart attack due to blood clots.

Hieu said Vietnam so far has produced extractions that did not dissolve easily, and thus had weaker impact than a nano-extraction.

A therapeutic dose should be 4-12 grams of curcumin a day, meaning four kilograms of tumeric if the patients use normal forms of extractions like tumeric powder available on the market, but that is a formula few patients would be able to follow for a long time, doctors said at the conference.

They said nano curcumin's solubility is more than 7,000 times higher.

Studies at Vietnam National University in Hanoi have showed that nano curcumin can destroy breast cancer, lung cancer and rectal cancer cells, as well as prevent their growth. It is safe to use either in high doses or over a long period of time, Hieu said.

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