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Turmeric Review

Sep 28, 2018
Turmeric Review

RESEARCH ON TURMERIC AND CURCUMIN

We are going to look at journal published studies on turmeric as it relates to several serious diseases.

For those who do not have time to read through the countless research articles, this quote from the Indian Journal of Dental Research sums it up nicely:

"The benefits of turmeric include: analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardiovascular, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, and diuretic" (Chaturvedi et al., 2009).

Arthritis

The Study - We looked at a systematic review that took 10,265 studies involving studies that used turmeric/curcumin as it relates to the symptoms of arthritis. After eliminating studies that used animals, were in-vitro, or lacked proper evidence, they were left with 8 proper human-subject studies. Turmeric/curcumin (turmeric extract) was shown to reduce: morning stiffness, inflammation, and pain. The test subjects also experienced more freedom of movement as a result of lessened pain similar to the effects of ibuprofen (Advil) and similar over-the-counter pain drugs (Daily et al., 2016).

Discussion - Turmeric can stand up to the hardiest of studies and it always seems to come out on top- this is especially true with arthritis. Turmeric is by no means a cure or treatment for arthritis. With every study that comes out, turmeric looks ever more like the best over-the-counter option for those who suffer from arthritis.

Diabetes

In a study published in Nutrition Journal (2010), turmeric was shown to increase insulin secretion but did not have an effect on glucose levels (Wickenberg et al.). 

The Study - Americans consume too much sugar and sugar is dangerous without insulin to gently transport it into our cells. Think of it like this- your cells are cars and sugar is gas while insulin is the gas pump. The gas pump dictates how much gas goes into the car. 

Discussion - People with type 1 diabetes have pancreas' that cannot produce insulin. While the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known, some experts suspect that one cause is too much sugar in our diets- it makes sense, the pancreas cannot keep up with the constant demand of insulin due to the endless onslaught of sugar consumption.

So, could turmeric aid people who have diabetes? Well, not so fast! Before we get to that, let's see if turmeric can help prevent the onset of diabetes in prediabetic individuals. 

The Study - In a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial involving 240 subjects with prediabetes, turmeric extract was given to half of the participants while placebo was given to the other half over 9 months (Chuengsamarn et al., 2012). In the placebo group, 16% of the individuals developed diabetes. Okay, so the placebo group did not do so great. What about the subjects who actually took turmeric- NONE of them developed diabetes.

Discussion- While 240 subjects do not represent everyone, this is an epic study in the realm of natural medicine and supplements. In fact, when it comes to dietary supplements, turmeric is the indisputable champion in that it has proven itself to even the most hardened skeptics. If you are someone with prediabetes, or, if diabetes runs in your family, then turmeric may be a great investment.

The Study - What about those who suffer from diabetes? I cannot put it better than a group of researchers who took five different studies involving a total of 814 subjects who wrote the following regarding turmeric:

"It can exert positive effects on attenuate inflammatory activation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis in diabetes, and it is proposed to have the potential impacts to protect against DCM. Curcumin, which is believed to be pharmacologically safe, effective, and with low adverse effects, it can be considered as a promising agent for alternative therapies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its cardiovascular complications. However, clinical trials about the long-term effects and precise mechanisms of curcumin on diabetes and DCM in humans are still lacking" (Zheng et al., 2018).*

Discussion - Turmeric is pretty amazing- it has the power to reduce inflammation, rid our bodies of free radicals, and lower the amount of cells that are dying. In addition to all that goodness, it also has minimal side effects. All this with minimal negative side-effects? Simply put, Turmeric is amazing. 

Conclusion: The studies at which we are looking involved 1000-1500mg of turmeric powder. Stern Healing Pure Turmeric has 1300mg turmeric and 100mg turmeric extract totally 1400mg turmeric coupled with 20mg Bioperine to increase absorption. Whether you are worried about diabetes, diagnosed with prediabetes, or suffering from diabetes, turmeric has been shown to have profound benefits.

More to come!

 

*The following is not an opinion but rather a simple fact: When it comes to the scientific method, the need for more research will always shadow the studies regarding natural medicine because no one is willing (or able) to put up the tens of millions of dollars to perform the necessary studies that would involve tens of thousands of subjects. There is not a single natural compound that is not "lacking" in clinical trials. The instant that a compound is no longer "lacking" in clinical trials is the same instant that a company finds a way to make the compound into a prescription drug. This is the way it should be and the way it is. The system works!

References:

Chaturvedi T P. Uses of turmeric in dentistry: An update. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:107-9

Chuengsamarn, S., Rattanamongkolgul, S., Luechapudiporn, R., Phisalaphong, C., & Jirawatnotai, S. (2012). Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care35(11), 2121–2127. http://doi.org/10.2337/dc12-0116

Daily, J. W., Yang, M., & Park, S. (2016). Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of Medicinal Food19(8), 717–729. http://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.3705

Shoba G, et al. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med. (1998)

Wickenberg J, Ingemansson SL, Hlebowicz J. Effects of Curcuma longa (turmeric) on postprandial plasma glucose and insulin in healthy subjects. Nutr J. 2010;9:43. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-43.

Zheng, J., Cheng, J., Zheng, S., Feng, Q., & Xiao, X. (2018). Curcumin, A Polyphenolic Curcuminoid With Its Protective Effects and Molecular Mechanisms in Diabetes and Diabetic Cardiomyopathy. Frontiers in Pharmacology9, 472. http://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00472

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