Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories that exist in the modern world. It has been used for healing purposes in Asia for thousands of years and has recently become a popular supplement designed to help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
However, recent studies have shown there may be another benefit this spice offers – weight loss. Turmeric was found to significantly increase fat oxidation rates and decrease adipocyte size, both of which indicate an increased rate of burning calories. Additionally, it was found turmeric increases lipolysis which allows for more fat cells to be broken down as well as less fat production from white adipose tissue (WAT). Lastly, it also helps reduce hunger cravings by altering gut microbiota composition.
How Turmeric helps in Weight Loss
Turmeric has been used in the Indian spice market for centuries to make curry and other cuisines. It provides a unique yellow orange color to curry powders because it is ground up with cumin and other spices. It also gives curry a distinct flavor that can be noticed by people who have tasted turmeric before.
One benefit of turmeric being so popular all over the world is that it allows researchers to find information about the effects of this spice not just in India, but in other countries as well. A study published by Irani et al., looked at the effect of curcumin consumption on body composition, appetite, and appetite-related hormones in obese adults. Interestingly, the study participants who were given curcumin had significant decreases in body mass index and a significant increase in energy expenditure. Furthermore, they found the subjects who consumed turmeric-containing curry reported significantly less hunger compared to subjects who did not. However, when the researchers assessed their appetite hormone profiles, they discovered that another component of turmeric called piperine enhanced the effect of curcumin and caused fewer side effects by suppressing the activity of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARg).
Safety concerns and effects of using Turmeric
With all the studies and anecdotal reports on turmeric claiming it helps with weight loss and even reversing heart disease and cancer, one would think that turmeric is a magic bullet and nothing can go wrong with it. However, one should know that there have been several studies showing no effects of turmeric on body composition despite these claims. Turmeric does not seem to cause liver toxicity or alter the metabolic response to insulin in healthy humans.
There are currently two end products of metabolization from curcumin in both adults and children that may cause adverse reactions: demethylcurcumin (DMC) and bisdemethylcurcumin (BDMC). Tang et al. discovered that curcumin causes peripheral neuropathy in rats. When they administered curcumin, they found a dose-dependent formation of BDMC and DMC. Moreover, they found that the demethylated products (DMC and BDMC) were the active neuropathic agents within the curcumin treatment group. They then proposed that further studies be conducted on humans to determine the effect of long-term high-dose turmeric or curcumin ingestion on neuropathy.
Based on their findings, Tang et al. suggest taking turmeric with black pepper because it increases absorption of curcumin. However, a combination supplement with black pepper could also alter potency and adverse events by increasing its absorption rate into cells and tissues.
Side effects that can be caused by Turmeric
Curcumin is a volatile compound found in turmeric and many other foods. It is very powerful, but usually used as a food preservative, to avoid spoilage. Turmeric has the ability to inhibit the action of specific enzymes in the body called cytochrome P450 (CYP1A2), which results in decreased metabolism of various drugs. This could be very dangerous for certain conditions, such as lupus, arthritis, asthma and diabetes.
Turmeric may also negatively affect blood sugar by inhibiting glycosylation enzymes and reducing glucose uptake at the cellular level. There is reverse causality between diabetes, obesity and turmeric. This means that the condition of obesity can cause diabetes.
In 2010, researchers reported on a case study of an 8-year-old child who presented with dilated cardiomyopathy and dilated aorta. It was discovered that he had been consuming excessive amounts of turmeric combined with black pepper on his oatmeal every morning. When his parents discontinued the ingestion of turmeric, the child had an improvement in mitochondrial function within 4 months and made a full recovery after 10 months.
However, several studies also show positive effects of curcumin including neuroprotection against amyloid toxicity associated with Alzheimer’s disease due to its antioxidant abilities.
Directions for using Turmeric
Turmeric can be used in many different ways depending on the consumer’s needs, including as a spice blend or dry powder. It is most commonly used in a curry or curry powder and can be added to a variety of foods, including meat and fish dishes.
Turmeric supplements may also be taken by people who want to try turmeric without consuming food containing high levels of curcumin. Turmeric supplements are available as capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders that combine turmeric with other bioactive compounds. Turmeric supplements should not be given to pregnant women because it could affect fetal development. If you are lactose intolerant, you may also want to avoid turmeric supplements because it could cause an upset stomach for some people.
There are many different types of turmeric supplements, but the most common forms are tablets or capsules with a range of 250 to 1200 mg of curcumin. When taking turmeric supplements, it is necessary to take a small amount each day so as not to cause adverse effects such as an upset stomach. Turmeric supplements should be taken with food so that absorption is maximized and there is no gastrointestinal upset.
Turmeric, a spice native to Southern and Eastern Asia, has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is commonly used as a spice in curries, but is also used as a primary ingredient in many supplements. Turmeric is commonly taken by mouth to treat stomach upset, nausea and vomiting after surgery, and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. People should be cautious when taking turmeric supplements because they may have negative effects on certain diseases such as diabetes and lupus. People should consult their physician before taking turmeric supplements or using it regularly as an ingredient in food products so that there are no adverse reactions.