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Elijah Reed
Elijah Reed

What Kind Of Turmeric Should I Buy

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.

what kind of turmeric should i buy

Many studies have taken place in test tubes and animals. Turmeric may not work as well in humans. Some studies have used an injectable form of curcumin, the active substance in turmeric, and not all studies agree. Finally, some of the studies show conflicting evidence.

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which some people think may help improve digestion. The German Commission E, which determines which herbs can be safely prescribed in Germany, has approved turmeric for digestive problems. And one double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion.

Because of turmeric's ability to reduce inflammation, researchers have wondered if it may help relieve osteoarthritis pain. One study found that people using an Ayurvedic formula of herbs and minerals with turmeric, winter cherry (Withinia somnifera), boswellia (Boswellia serrata), and zinc had less pain and disability. But it's impossible to know whether turmeric, one of the other supplements, or all of them together, was responsible for the effects.

Early studies suggested that turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. In animal studies, an extract of turmeric lowered cholesterol levels and kept LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up in blood vessels. Because it stops platelets from clumping together, turmeric may also prevent blood clots from building up along the walls of arteries. But a double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that taking curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, at a dose of up to 4 g per day did not improve cholesterol levels.

There has been a great deal of research on turmeric's anti-cancer properties, but results are still 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. More research is needed. Cancer should be treated with conventional medications. Don't use alternative therapies alone to treat cancer. If you choose to use complementary therapies along with your cancer treatment, make sure you tell all your doctors.

A relative of ginger, turmeric is a perennial plant that grows 5 to 6 feet high in the tropical regions of Southern Asia, with trumpet-shaped, dull yellow flowers. Its roots are bulbs that also produce rhizomes, which then produce stems and roots for new plants. Turmeric is fragrant and has a bitter, somewhat sharp taste. Although it grows in many tropical locations, the majority of turmeric is grown in India, where it is used as a main ingredient in curry.

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Turmeric in food is considered safe. However, taking large amounts of turmeric and curcumin in supplement form for long periods of time may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers. People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should talk to their doctor before taking turmeric.

If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking turmeric supplements. Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels. When combined with medications for diabetes, turmeric could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Suryanarayana P, Satyanarayana A, Balakrishna N, Kumar PU, Reddy GB. Effect of turmeric and curcumin on oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13(12):BR286-292.

Turmeric has also deep roots in both Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurveda for treating arthritis. Research suggests that taking turmeric extract could potentially reduce pain from osteoarthritis, though further study is still needed.

While the risk of side effects is low and drug interactions are unlikely, stop taking turmeric if you notice ill effects. Turmeric may cause bloating, and there is a theoretical concern that it may interact with blood-clotting medications. Also avoid it if you have gallbladder disease.

In folk medicine, turmeric has been used in therapeutic preparations over the centuries in different parts of the world. In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric is thought to have many medicinal properties including strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, and relieving arthritis. Many South Asian countries use it as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises, and as an antibacterial agent. In Pakistan, it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as a remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, turmeric is used to cleanse wounds and stimulate their recovery by applying it on a piece of burnt cloth that is placed over a wound. Indians use turmeric, in addition to its Ayurvedic applications, to purify blood and remedy skin conditions. Turmeric paste is used by women in some parts of India to remove superfluous hair. Turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and groom before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where it is believed to make the skin glow and keep harmful bacteria away from the body. Turmeric is currently used in the formulation of several sunscreens. Several multinational companies are involved in making face creams based on turmeric.

Although modern medicine has been routinely used in treatment of various diseases, it is less than 100 years old. Traditional medicine, in comparison, has served mankind for thousands of years, is quite safe and effective. The mechanism or the scientific basis of traditional medicine, however, is less well understood.

Numerous lines of evidence suggest that turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory activity. In one study, crude organic extracts of turmeric were found to inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (median inhibitory concentration [IC50] value = 15.2 μg/mL) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2; IC50 value = 0.92 μg/mL) from HL-60 cells. A combination of several fractions that contained the turmeric oils was more effective than curcuminoids in inhibiting PGE2 production (Lantz et al. 2005). A hydroethanolic extract of turmeric was recently found to inhibit activation of human dendritic cells in response to inflammatory cytokines (Krasovsky et al. 2009).

The anticancer activities of turmeric include inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis of cancer cells. Ar-turmerone, which is isolated from turmeric, induced apoptosis in human leukemia Molt 4B and HL-60 cells by fragmenting DNA to oligonucleosome-sized fragments, a known step in the process of apoptosis (Aratanechemuge et al. 2002). Moreover, the nucleosomal DNA fragmentation induced by ar-turmerone was associated with induction of Bax and p53 proteins, rather than B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and p21, and activation of mitochondrial cytochrome c and caspase-3 (Lee 2009). This study showed that turmeric extract repressed the production and secretion of hepatitis B surface antigen from HepG 2.2.15 cells, an activity that is mediated through the enhancement of cellular accumulation of p53 protein by transactivating the transcription of the p53 gene as well as increasing the stability of the p53 protein (Kim et al. 2009).

Both the preventive and therapeutic effects of turmeric have been examined in animal models (Table 13.4). These studies report that this yellow spice exhibits anticancer (Azuine and Bhide 1994; Deshpande, Ingle, and Maru 1997; Garg, Ingle, and Maru 2008), hepatoprotective (Miyakoshi et al. 2004), cardioprotective (Mohanty, Arya, and Gupta 2006), hypoglycemic (Kuroda et al. 2005; Honda et al. 2006), and antiarthritic properties (Funk et al. 2006).

Ethanolic turmeric extract was found to have opposing actions on murine lymphocytes and on Ehlrich ascitic carcinoma cells. Turmeric enhances lymphocyte viability and blastogenesis, but induces formation of cytoplasmic blebs and plasma membrane disintegration of tumor cells. Thus, it is suggested that turmeric is a conducive agent for lymphocytes and inhibitory as well as apoptosisinducing for tumor cells (Chakravarty and Yasmin 2005). A comparative study of edible plants like C. longa and F. caraica, and herbaceous plants like Gossypium barbadense and Ricinus communis extracts for their antitumor activities showed that the edible plant extracts exhibited higher antitumorigenic activities. Thus, edible plants that show in vivo antitumor activities may be recommended as safe sources of antitumor compounds (Amara, El-Masry, and Bogdady 2008).

Turmeric showed antioxidant potential by lowering oxidative stress in animals. A study showed that a diet containing 0.1% turmeric fed for 3 weeks to retinol-deficient rats lowered lipid peroxidation rates by 22.6% in liver, 24.1% in kidney, 18.0% in spleen, and 31.4% in brain (Kaul and Krishnakantha 1997). A study conducted on mice showed that turmeric extract inhibited membrane phospholipid peroxidation and increased liver lipid metabolism, which indicates turmeric extract has the ability to prevent the deposition of triacylglycerols in the liver. Dietary supplementation for one week (1% w/w of diet) with a turmeric extract showed lower phospholipids hydroperoxide level in mice red blood cells (RBC). The liver lipid peroxidizability induced with Fe2+/ascorbic acid was effectively suppressed by dietary supplementation with turmeric (Asai, Nakagawa, and Miyazawa 1999). Oral administration of a nutritional dose of turmeric extract decreased susceptibility to oxidation of erythrocyte and liver microsome membranes in vitro. When turmeric hydroalcoholic extract (1.66 mg/kg of body weight) was given to rabbits fed a high-fat diet, oxidation of erythrocyte membranes was found to be significantly lower than that in membranes of control animals. Levels of hydroperoxides and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances in liver microsomes were also low (Mesa et al. 2003). Turmeric also seems beneficial in preventing diabetes-induced oxidative stress. In diabetic rats, an AIN93 diet containing 0.5% turmeric was found to control oxidative stress by inhibiting increases in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and protein carbonyls and reversing altered antioxidant enzyme activities without altering the hyperglycemic state (Arun and Nalini 2002; Suryanarayana et al. 2007). This diet also inhibited expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in diabetic rats (Mrudula et al. 2007). Further, it suppressed increase in blood glucose level in type 2 diabetic KK-Ay mice. A dose of 0.2 or 1.0 g of ethanol extract, 0.5 g of hexane extract, and 0.5 g of hexane-extraction residue per 100 g of diet in the mice feed suppressed significant increase in blood glucose levels. The ethanol extract of turmeric also stimulated human adipocyte differentiation, and it showed human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-γ) ligand-binding activity (Nishiyama et al. 2005). Further, turmeric appeared to minimize osmotic stress. Most importantly, aggregation and insolubilization of lens proteins due to hyperglycemia was prevented by turmeric, indicating that it prevents or delays the development of cataracts (Suryanarayana et al. 2005). 041b061a72


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