Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • July 2017
Written by 

Five health benefits of turmeric supplements

The potential health benefits of turmeric supplements make this one of the most talked about herbs within the natural health community. In fact, what many of us already knew about turmeric (curcuma longa) is finally being backed with scientific research. New clinical tests are revealing fresh insight into what makes this herb so special and worth making a part of your healthy diet.

What is turmeric good for?

Turmeric contains an important compound in its rhizome called curcumin, which is credited with providing the medicinal benefits that may be found when using turmeric supplements. The National Center for Biotechnology Information website currently has more than 3,800 published articles touting the beneficial properties of turmeric as well as over 9,600 articles about curcumin’s benefits. Some of these include support for:

  • Digestive system health
  • Healthy weight management
  • Immune system health
  • Brain health
  • Healthy joint function

Below, we examine some of those claims and the clinical research that seeks to add credibility to turmeric.

Digestive system health

In a recent study, researchers looked at the use of turmeric to treat digestive disorders, including dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease. These conditions are traditionally treated with drugs, surgery and psychological therapies.

“In preclinical trials, turmeric was shown to potentially protect the GI tract through its anti-inflammatory effect. It also demonstrated its ability to increase the secretion of gastrin, secretin and bicarbonate, gastric wall mucus and pancreatic enzyme, while inhibiting intestinal spasms and ulcer formation caused by stress, alcohol, indomethacin, pyloric ligation and reserpine.”

In one randomized controlled trial conducted with 116 patients suffering bowel disorders, those who were given turmeric showed improvement after seven days. Eighty seven percent of the group experienced symptom relief from dyspepsia compared to 53 percent of the placebo group. Researchers noted that this was “statistically significant and clinically important.”

Healthy weight management

Body fat, or adipose tissue, is loose connective tissue that stores energy, and cushions and insulates the body. It is identified in two forms: white adipose tissue (WAT), which stores energy and comprises 20-25 percent of body weight; and brown adipose tissue that is stored and used to generate body heat.

The challenge with white adipose tissue is that the body will only begin to burn this fat if there is an energy deficit, which makes it hard to remove. Researchers are now looking at the possibility that ingesting turmeric may result in the browning of WAT. This could mean that stubborn body fat could be stimulated to release as heat like brown adipose tissue.

One randomized, controlled study evaluated the effect of curcumin on subjects affected by metabolic syndromes. After 60 days, researchers found that patients lost more weight when taking turmeric. In fact, curcumin administration increased weight loss, enhanced percentage reduction of body fat, increased waistline reduction, improved hip circumference reduction and enhanced reduction of BMI.

Immune system health

Scientific studies show that turmeric contains medicinal properties that may stimulate activities in the body that could have a significant impact on how we look at disease prevention. An article from the Division of Molecular Medicine at the Bose Institute looked at curcumin and its ability to resurrect the immune system:

“More recently curcumin has been found to have anti-cancer properties that affect a variety of biological pathways involved in mutagenesis, oncogene expression, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and metastasis. Several studies were conducted to explore the anti-cancer properties of curcumin and it was shown that curcumin modulates multiple cell signaling pathways which include cell proliferation, cell survival, apoptosis or cell death.”

Turmeric is also credited for its antioxidant content. Researchers found several mechanisms of actions in turmeric that provide free radical scavenging compounds, including phenols and flavonoids. These plant compounds are believed to support the healthy development of cells and promote the body’s natural immune response.

Brain health

Researchers at the Department of Neurology in Sepulveda, California, recognize that curcumin contains many clinically studied chemical properties that have demonstrated potentially medicinal benefits in a healthy brain. While their research does not account for the largescale human studies needed to verify their research, they do suggest that turmeric may hold some answers.

In the article Neuroprotective Effect of Curcumin, researchers examined how dietary curcumin may provide medicinal benefits during normal aging.

“Because of its pluripotency, oral safety, long history of use and inexpensive cost, curcumin has great potential for the prevention of multiple neurological conditions for which current therapeutics are less than optimal. Examples reviewed include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, head trauma, aging and stroke.”

Healthy joint function

Turmeric may support the cartilage and fluid found between joints. In healthy joints, particularly in knees, hips and hands, cartilage acts as a cushion between bone structures, and joint fluid carries nutrients. Some research points to compounds in turmeric that may block inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2. Arthritis.org also recognizes several studies identifying the potential of turmeric and curcumin to provide relief for certain disorders.

“Several recent studies show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. In a small 2012 pilot study, a curcumin product called BCM-95 reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA better than diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).”

These studies, as well as those that are ongoing, continue to show how special this herb really is and why it’s worth taking turmeric supplements. 


References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080703/.

http://www.jnutbio.com/article/S0955-2863(15)00241-7/abstract.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26592847.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4603973/.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15551376.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929771/.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527619/.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25131839.

http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/turmeric.php.

Eric Mazzoni

Natural Healthy Concepts retail locations at 310 N. Westhill Blvd. in Appleton and coming soon at 976 E Johnson Street in Fond du Lac is based on the foundation that health and wellness lies in proper nutrition. To supplement proper nutrition, Natural Healthy Concepts carries a wide variety of professional grade supplements including turmeric, homeopathic remedies, herbs and natural health products. For more information, visit www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com or call 920-968-2360.

Website: www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com
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