Turmeric / Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is an herb which has become very popular in recent years. It is a traditional medicine; an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties which “may” inhibit cancer cell growth. In the last few years, recent studies are confirming the positive health attributes of this spice. Nutrition data for turmeric.
A phase 1 human trial with 25 subjects using up to 8000 mg of curcumin per day for 3 months found no toxicity from curcumin. Five other human trials using 1125-2500 mg of curcumin per day have also found it to be safe. These human studies have found some evidence of anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin.
~ Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin:
A Component of Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
Benefits of Turmeric
- Protects the cardiovascular system – US National Library of Medicine
- Aids in treatment of digestive disorders – World Journal of Gastroenterology
- Anti-inflamatory / anti-oxidant activity of turmeric may have beneficial effects against rheumatoid arthritis
- “A Review on Antibacterial, antiviral, and Antifungal Activity of Curcumin“
- Results of a study of 3 patients with severe Alzheimer’s Disease whose symptoms were remarkably improved (2012)
- Beneficial in treating diabetes and cystic fibrosis
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been shown to prevent gastric and colon cancers
- Curcumin inhibits … angiogenesis & metastasis of difference cancers
“There has been a great deal of research on turmeric’s anti-cancer properties, but results are still very preliminary. Evidence from test tube and animal studies suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancer. Tumeric’s preventive effects may relate to its antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage.”
~ University of Maryland Medical Center
Ways to Add Fresh Turmeric to your Daily Diet
- Tea is a most simple every day addition, using 1/2 teaspoon per cup of hot water
- Recently I was given a gift of organic Turmeric Tea, with lime & lemon verbena, from Madagascar. The tea is an enjoyable addition to our regular teas and is Fair Trade Certified. Look for similar in your area.
- Mix a teaspoon with scrambled eggs and vegetables in a wrap
- Add a teaspoon to soups, vegetarian chilli, curry, etc
- Add a small amount to regular fresh juice
National Center for Biotechnology
Since publishing the original CAP article on Turmeric in 2012 more scientific and medical information has become available through research.
Recent Research into Benefits
- Turmeric and curcumin: biological actions and medicinal applications (May 2016) – Indian Academy of Sciences
- Curcumin’s ability to fight Alzheimer’s studied (January 2015) – Vanderbilt University
- Clinical observations: Curcumin an active part of turmeric in the prevention and treatment of ulcerative colitis (2012) – Royal Society of Chemistry
- Turmeric and Green Tea: A Recipe for the Treatment of B-Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (February 2009)
- Optimized Turmeric Extracts have Potent Anti-Amyloidogenic Effects re: Alzheimer’s (December 2009) (Further studies required)
People over the age of 65 in India with Alzheimer’s Disease
“In India, Alzheimer’s disease is relatively uncommon.
People over the age of 65 living in
certain rural areas of India have a less than
1 percent (0.84%) chance of developing the disease”
(Note: In 2016 India’s population was 1.3 billion people)
Ages of People with Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States, 2015
- 85+ years, 38%
- 75-84 years, 43%
- 65-74 years, 15%
Taken from page 18 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
- Recommended average supplement doses vary upwards from 3 to 6 x 500 mg capsules per day
- Note: Both garlic and turmeric as well as ginger, parsley, onion and celery all interact with Warfarin
- Possible side effects may include upset stomach and interaction with blood thinner prescription drugs such as aspirin
- Consuming pepper along with turmeric is supposed to increase the effectiveness of the spice a thousand times. If you make your own capsules a good suggestion was to add a small amount of pepper to the capsule
- Powder may stain clothing and other articles if spilled
- Turmeric root can be frozen whole or grated and stored in freezer
- A special note when taking any new vitamin or supplement, especially mega doses, to consult your family physician before commencing
Many research studies and peer-reviewed information online unfortunately was dated before 2010. It is good that further studies are taking place, including trials with people.
The best way for us to consume turmeric is the way it comes out of the ground or as pure and natural as possible. Start adding turmeric slowly as it has a strong flavor. We have added fresh turmeric root, powder and supplements to our daily diet since 2008 with no side effects. There are many claims for this “wonder” spice and more and more clinical studies and research are verifying these claims.
Hoping this article will keep you informed on what is developing in this area.
Links & References:
- Update October, 2017: Study: The functional genomic studies of curcumin – Lukasz Huminiecki, Jaroslaw Horbanczuk, Atanas G. Atanasov – Science Direct
- Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Tumeric (Curcuma longa). Nita Chainani-Wu. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. July 2004, 9(1): 161-168. doi:10.1089/107555303321223035.
- The incidence rates for altzheimers appears to be much lower in rural India
- Angiogenesis definition
- Metastasis definition