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23 Jun

Turmeric: A Spice for Life

Picture2 7The popular Asian cooking spice, turmeric, may help prevent diabetes and help beneficially influence body composition, according to a study slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Endocrinology.

Previous research has suggested that turmeric and its anti-oxidative ingredient, curcumin, can help reduce inflammation, help heal wounds and relieve pain.

For the most recent study, researchers from the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center evaluated the use of turmeric on rodent models and found that those treated with the popular curry spice were “less susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes” based on the findings of a blood glucose level test and an assessment of glucose and insulin tolerance.

In addition, the researchers report that obese mice given turmeric exhibited “a small but significant decline in body weight and fat content” and showed “significantly reduced inflammation in fat tissue and liver” when compared to obese mice not given the spice. The inflammation mechanism associated with obesity is due to the production of macrophages, a type of immune cell manufactured in fat tissues. These macrophages are in turn thought to produce cytokine molecules, which are thought to cause inflammation in the heart and pancreas and are also associated with increased insulin resistance in the muscles and liver.

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As a result, the researchers hypothesize that by suppressing the activity of these macrophages with turmeric, it may be possible to reduce obesity and some of its related ailments.

Now granted, this all took place in rodent models and it’s not yet clear whether the effects would carry over to humans (and even if they did, whether consuming that amount of the spice would pose other curry-related problems!), the researchers note that the spice “could nicely complement our traditional therapies as a natural and safe treatment.” Even so, a spice that pacts an anti-oxidative punch, may stave off inflammation and has the possibility of altering our body composition for the better… and all for nominal calories? We say it sure beats the heck out of ketchup!

Alastair Bird, Carlos Lorenzo Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

Flame Thrower: Top 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation

Homemade Condiment Creations

10 Ingredients that Will Make Your Meals Pop

Smart Fuel: Hot Peppers

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’m sorry, but I take pause any time I hear a study involving obese mice. Does anyone else find this absurd? I’m not talking about the results of the study, I’m just talking about obese mice. Who raises these mice? Is it animal cruelty or animal pampering to raise a fat mouse? Oh, and who decides the BMI scale for mice?

    The study is also intriguing. I may have to add Turmeric to my diet which should be easy since I love aromatic Indian food.

    Rudy wrote on June 23rd, 2008
  2. Don’t forget the very promising results of trials evaluating turmeric’s effect on Alzheimer’s disease in mice.

    Sasquatch wrote on June 23rd, 2008
  3. “The popular Asian cooking spice, turmeric, may help prevent diabetes and help beneficially influence body composition.”
    This is excellent I had no idea, I have never heard of this stuff. I think it is common knowledge that we have a diabetes issue in this country and it is starting to become more and more problematic with the youth of this country. I hope that this product gets out to some folks that can use preventative measures, without sacrificing much at all.

    Eric wrote on June 23rd, 2008
  4. Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been recommended to me for Crohn’s disease and arthritis.

    Rhov wrote on June 23rd, 2008
  5. I’ve been using some fresh turmeric as well as dried in my cooking this year. It’s one of my favorite spices.

    There seems to be a decent amount of exploratory research about turmeric out there, including its possible benefits for cancer and cardiovascular disease too. Seems worth exploring, and tasty too.

    Food Is Love

    Huckleberry wrote on June 23rd, 2008
  6. While in England, during late 1991 to mid 1992, turmeric and curcuminoids were well reported in the world news. Reference was made to the lower numbers of certain human and animal cancers in India. It’s definitely worth delving into the subject. As I was in England during that time, I can no longer donate blood in the USA due to the “Mad Cow Disease.”

    John wrote on July 2nd, 2008
  7. I’ve also read that cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity, and that black pepper (specifically piperidine) can increase the bioavailability of certain things. It seems the humble spice rack might have a lot of properties often neglected in mainstream health.

    Mike wrote on August 7th, 2008
  8. My Doctor prescribed a medicine that would help cure my gout, but said that it would create stomach problems. I was not happy with the result of my doctor’s visit so I went to Wild Oats (Whole Foods) and talked to the nutritionist about a more natural way to treat gout. She recommended that I take Turmeric with Tart Cherry to prevent gout. I have been taking both for about 8 months and have not had any problems with gout or with my stomach. Doctor’s visit cost $65, time with nutritionist FREE!

    Dalton wrote on March 12th, 2009
  9. My partner is Indian. Tumeric is used for all ailments. Getting sick? Drink a small cup of warm milk with Tumeric. Cut your hand? Pack some moist Tumeric on it (it stings). It is one of those wonder spices.

    joseph wrote on May 13th, 2009
    • Yes, Joseph. I regularly have warm milk with a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey. Glass of goodness!

      Diana wrote on May 19th, 2010
  10. see the web site, this mail

    g karthigeyan wrote on July 5th, 2011
    • It seems interesting thanks for sharing the useful info.

      Kratom Powder wrote on September 3rd, 2012
  11. I recently bought some turmeric extract after a week long gout attack. I’ve suffered from gout for around 5 years and the attacks are slowly getting worse (longer and more painful). I’ve tried ACV, Cherry Juice, Prescription meds, ibuprofen, but nothing works. I’m turmeric during this attack but its hasnt relieved the symptoms. I’ll continue taking it to see if it prevents re-occurence. I’ll report back with my results. Oh, btw, I’ve found that Kratom is great for gout pain. Its a herbal pain remedy a friend told me about. – John

    Kratom wrote on December 23rd, 2011
  12. I recently bought some turmeric extract after a week long gout attack. I’ve suffered from gout for around 5 years and the attacks are slowly getting worse (longer and more painful). I’ve tried ACV, Cherry Juice, Prescription meds, ibuprofen, but nothing works. I’m trying turmeric during this attack but its hasnt relieved the symptoms. I’ll continue taking it to see if it prevents re-occurence. I’ll report back with my results. Oh, btw, I’ve found that Kratom is great for gout pain. Its a herbal pain remedy a friend told me about. – John

    Kratom wrote on December 23rd, 2011
  13. A friend told you about it? more like you sell it. Spam!

    Jeff wrote on May 16th, 2012
  14. Research on prediabetic humans taking curcumin supplements out in Diabetes Care journal http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/11/2121

    progress!

    Robin Thomas wrote on November 5th, 2012
  15. I’ve been a diabetic for 15 years and always interested in new findings. I’ll have to give this a shot. Lol, I don’t of many dishes to use it in, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

    Kratom Leaf wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  16. All that sounds very promising. But I doubt doctors will ever prescribe it for you, and probably never tell you about it.

    Buy kratom wrote on January 15th, 2013
  17. There’s a great article in the Life Extension book about the incredible value of Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory. One of the main reasons I use it regularly.

    Kratom Guide wrote on November 13th, 2013
  18. Looks like this thread has become Kratom’s Daily Tumeric. Dude, at least learn how to spell turmeric before you spam us regularly.

    Benboom wrote on January 1st, 2014

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