Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. It’s also been known for giving curry its delightful colour and flavour. Here at Turmerix, we are huge fans of turmeric, of course, but what sort of research is there when it comes to the potential health benefits? Well, there’s a lot. Hundreds of studies, in fact, but here are some of the most exciting potential health benefits for turmeric to date.
Irish scientists working in 2009 found that in the lab curcumin, the active ingredient present in turmeric, had astonishing results on oesophageal cancer cells.When exposed to the curcumin, the cancer cells began to breakdown 24 hours later. They also went through a process of self-digestion which suggests it might not just be curries that are tasty when you add turmeric.
In independent studies conducted in Austria and the USA, during the course of 2010, results of research suggest that turmeric and in particular, curcumin, has powerful effects on liver disease. They also noted that from their limited studies there was plenty of evidence that curcumin could delay the onset of cirrhosis of the liver, which is a particular problem for long-term drinkers.
Thailand may not be instantly connected to the field of pharmacology but Thai researchers began to look at turmeric and its possible interactions with one of the big modern medical problems – Type 2 Diabetes – in 2012. Their results were quite astonishing. They saw that preparations of turmeric, which enabled the easy ingestion of curcumin, could sometimes reverse the damage of Type 2 diabetes and it was seen to be a strong factor in warding off Type 2 diabetes when given to patients in the “pre-diabetes” phase.
It seems quite incredible turmeric should also be able to have an impact on the diseases of the mind typically associated with the ageing process but that’s what a study in India concluded in 2008. They saw when administered correctly, curcumin could help prevent the formation of “beta-amyloid plaques” which are essentially the deposits, which build up in the brain to prevent it from functioning correctly. However, it’s important to note that there is still much research to come as to how this knowledge can be best used in a clinical setting for treating such conditions.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition and given that curcumin is well noted for being an anti-inflammatory – it’s, perhaps, no surprise that researchers in Nottingham showed that it could suppress biological mechanisms that trigger outbreaks of arthritis. The researchers were keen to stress that this doesn’t mean that the underlying condition is “cured” but rather that It might be effectively controlled through the consumption of curcumin.
There is a lot of research being conducted on the properties of turmeric and curcumin at this moment in time. Ancient wisdom and anecdotal evidence, for once, appears to be borne out by research and there are few risks to taking sensible amounts of turmeric in your daily diet.