Guest Post – Laurence Girard, The Health Benefits Of Turmeric

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turmericTurmeric is a spice that tastes delicious and provides a wide range of health benefits. It has been used for more than 4,000 years to treat a wide range of health conditions and may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation and treat digestive problems, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is a major culinary spice and commonly used in Indian curries. It is a relative of ginger and best known for its ability to reduce inflammation.

The National Institutes of Health currently lists 24 studies on the effects of turmeric and its primary active component which is curcumin. Studies indicate that curcumin seems to delay liver damage, reduce levels of carcinogenic compounds, inhibit the growth of skin cancer and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Epidemiologists have hypothesized that the turmeric that is incorporated into daily curries eaten in India may help explain the low rate of Alzheimer’s disease in that country. Among people aged 70 to 79, the rate is less than one-quarter that of the United States. Researchers at the University of South Dakota have also found that pretreatment with curcumin makes cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy.

A newer study suggests that curcumin may be useful as a treatment for arthritis. The research was done in Italy and was a three-month trial involving 50 patients diagnosed by x-ray with osteoarthritis of the knee. The italian team of researchers was investigating the effect of arthritis symptoms of a curcumin-based preparation optimized for better absorption.

In a study published in Rejuvenation Research, researchers found that turmeric extended the lifespan of fruit flies by as much as 20 percent…..

In a study published in Rejuvenation Research, researchers found that turmeric extended the lifespan of fruit flies by as much as 20 percent, while improving locomotion and having tumor-prevention properties. After 90 days, the researchers found a 58 percent decrease in overall reported stiffness and pain and an improvement in physical functioning among the curcumin group was noticed over the control group.

– This post was provided courtesy of a Harvard start-up Nutritas which provides health information and telemedicine consultation.

References:

http://www.uci.edu/features/2010/10/feature_turmeric_101011.php

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/turmeric-000277.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html