Turmeric is a spice quite common in Indian’s Ayurvedic Medicine for its health benefits and modernly used as an anti-inflammatory.
It’s commonly extracted from the roots of the Curcuma longa tree and contains curcumin as a main active substance, which is the main source of its awesome benefits for the human body!
Curcumin as a chemical compound
This bright yellow chemical is usually sold in cosmetics, health supplements and as a source of coloring. It belongs to the family of curcuminoids and it provides the characteristic yellow in turmeric.
Given its natural source, much is debated about curcumin. Some research states that it’s very effective to reduce and eliminate inflammatory reactions without side effects, especially those that have become chronic and represent a source of pathologies in the organism (arthritis, cardiomyopathies, metabolic syndromes and ultimately, cancer).
Nevertheless, curcumin consumed orally is: very irritating for the gastrointestinal system, has low absorption and bioavailability, only small amounts of the substance escape the gastrointestinal tract and most of it, it’s excreted unchanged. All these facts make it harder to believe in these previous statements about an aggressive anti-inflammatory effect.
In fact, it was discovered in 2018 that most of the research available about curcumin being a possible cure for some types of cancer and inflammatory afflictions, were simply scam.
Bharat Aggarwal, the doctor from the University of Texas who was behind this paperwork, retracted his theories as invented.
One of his motives to create such false patents was to promote the selling of synthetic and regular curcuminoids for signing with two pharmaceutical companies interested in creating and testing drugs based on curcuminoids.
On the other hand, it’s important that we review all the sides of the coin, now let’s see what has been said around the internet and traditional medicine about Turmeric, shall we?
Possible Health Benefits of Turmeric
1) Topic anti-inflammatory: As we’ve said before, the extract is said to be good to treat chronic inflammation and soreness around joints and muscle. How? It inhibits compounds like NF-kB, which are part of the immune reaction to “trauma” that triggers cells of the complement system and blood cells to produce inflammation. Chronic Inflammatory Diseases such as “rheumatisms, irritable bowel’s syndrome, gout, etc exist because there’s a problem in regulating the inflammatory process in the area. This causes pain, discomfort and sometimes even loss of function in the affected area, something extremely hard to deal for patients.
2) “Anti-cancer” properties: In previous articles, we’ve established the benefits of some types of antioxidants like polyphenols. In this case, curcumin is a strong antioxidant that provides protection for cells against free radicals. These radicals usually carry mutations around cells and loss of function. Therefore, it was extremely theorized that curcumin in Turmeric was a potential natural source of treatment for cancer.
Still, nothing proves this quite effectively and the “solid” research around the wonders of antioxidants of Turmeric for cancer treatment, turned out to be false.
In our point of view, we believe that one should not trust everything he/she reads. It may have an antioxidant effect that helps to prevent cancer, it’s just not as effective and its action is not as significant as people wish it to be. Only trying you’ll know how it’s the experience.
3) Reducing Anxiety: Have you ever heard that stress is related to inflammation and chronic activation of the immune system? In case you haven’t, don’t worry you are not alone.
A root of immunology and psychology called psychoneuroimmunology discusses exactly this.
This more holistic side of the medicine states that when you are anxious you promote inflammation and when there’s physical stress in your body that causes inflammation around the nervous system, anxiety and other psychological effects appear. With turmeric, we can reduce the inflammatory reaction caused by psychological stimuli, providing a sense of wellbeing and health. You’ll see that your anxiety will be reduced significantly with the treatment.
4) Prevents cardiovascular diseases: Almost all natural remedies help with this and turmeric is no exception. Some reports show that extracts from the original tree or just supplements with turmeric reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and also the improve insulin receptivity in the body, allowing this hormone to affect our body more potently.
Turmeric & Weight loss?
With all the previous features we’ve described so far, the most common option is to think that turmeric is great to lose some pounds as well and burn fats easily from a natural source.
Well, then I’m afraid to tell you that you’d be wrong.
Although Turmeric is great to keep metabolic problems at bay, it does not have a way to modify metabolism to burn fats and lose weight. It might keep you healthy but certainly will not give you the figurine of your dreams.
Some research is still run to date with the purpose of finding a great usage for this spice until then we stay true to the facts and say that it does NOT help you to lose weight.
If you wish to achieve that, start a great routine with diet and exercises every single day, and to train yourself for improving your physical condition. You’ll see that these two small things will suffice.
Possible Side Effects
While most people assume that this spice carries no consequences and possible side effects, we must speak the truth and make a small list with all the possible side effects this natural ingredient can carry for hypersensitive people and people with contraindications.
Gastrointestinal irritation (with or without ulcers): Turmeric is very irritative if used as a chronic treatment, it may cause wounds in the high gastrointestinal tract and bowel.
Loss of conscience
Allergic reactions on skin and mouth
True or False?
Sooner or later, we must come back to this point. Is the supplement in powder, the spice or the purest extract from the tree really useful to me and my health?
Given recent research and the mixed opinions about this spice, we are more inclined to think that many benefits surrounding the spice are FALSE.
Pharmacokinetics are studied for a reason, they see and explain how much a substance can run through the body, expand and create an effect in it. All the characteristics stated for Turmeric, show that this spice does not penetrate through the gastrointestinal tract and it’s simply excreted with little change, therefore it’s almost impossible that it may cause of these great effects that require a good level of reception.
Nevertheless, there can still be an explanation for all of this as turmeric can be administered with another compound that increases its absorption on the body 10.000more. Still, more research needs to be done.
And until then, we’ll suggest you try other diets or proceed with caution. You may not get the results you are searching for and it’s possible that you get unnecessary side effects.
You may continue researching in case you want more information, there are plenty of spaces where this topic is covered. Read, analyze and then decide. Your health is the most important inversion of all, and as such you have to decide properly every time.