Can turmeric be your weightloss friend?

Turmeric, yellow in colour is also known as the golden spice of India, which is popular among the Asian cuisine. Not just this, it has also been part of traditional Indian medicine (or Ayurveda) for thousands of years, because of its medicinal properties like healing wounds. Most of turmeric’s health properties can be attributed to curcumin, a compound with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Recent research suggests that turmeric may play a role in weight loss. However, you may wonder if it works and how much is needed to see results. 

Turmeric and weight loss

Recent studies have examined the role of turmeric in weight loss. In fact, test-tube studies suggest that curcumin can suppress certain inflammatory markers involved in obesity, which are typically elevated in overweight or obese individuals.

Animal studies indicate that this compound may promote weight loss, inhibit adipose tissue growth, inhibit weight gain, and increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Additionally, in his 30-day study of 44 people who had previously been unable to lose weight, when he supplemented with 800 mg curcumin and 8 mg piperine twice daily, his weight, body mass index (BMI) was found to be significantly reduced. Waist and hip measurements were obtained from body weight. Piperine is a compound found in black pepper that can increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%.

Additionally, a review of 21 studies involving more than 1,600 people found that curcumin intake was associated with decreased weight, BMI, and waist circumference. Elevated levels of adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism, have also been found.Based on the good results, the dieticians now recommend to drink turmeric waer in the early morning, as the circumin extract easily mixes with water, thus making consumption easier.

Turmeric Safety and Side Effects

Turmeric and curcumin are generally considered harmless. Short-term studies have shown that consuming up to 8 grams of curcumin per day poses little health risk, but long-term studies are needed.

However, taking too much of this compound can cause side effects such as allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, rash, or diarrhea. 

Additionally, people with the following conditions should avoid turmeric supplements: 

  1. Bleeding disorders- Turmeric can interfere with blood clotting, which can cause problems for people with bleeding disorders. 
  2. Diabetes mellitus- These supplements can interact with diabetes medications and cause blood sugar levels to drop too low.
  3. Iron deficiency- Turmeric inhibits iron absorption.
  4. Kidney stone- This spice is high in oxalate, a compound that binds calcium and contributes to the formation of kidney stones.

Note that there is insufficient evidence to support the safety of these dietary supplements for pregnant or breastfeeding women.Therefore, they should be avoided.

Additionally, some turmeric products may contain fillers that are not listed on the label, so before choosing a dietary supplement irrespective of its certification from FDA, consulting the doctor is a must. Because, they will be able to guide you better based on existing medical conditions. As, curcumin or circumin extract can also interact with many medications, including anticoagulants, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, antihistamines, and chemotherapy drugs. Check with your doctor to see if turmeric or curcumin supplements are right for you. 

How to use turmeric

Turmeric comes in many forms, but the easiest way to use it is as a spice in cooking.

It can also be enjoyed in beverages such as Turmeric Ginger Tea and Golden Milk, which are made by heating milk, turmeric, ginger, black pepper and cinnamon powder.

In Indian cuisine, turmeric is commonly added to teas along with black pepper and other ingredients such as honey, ginger, olive oil and coconut oil.

However, most human studies suggest that health benefits are only seen at high doses, such as those found in turmeric extracts and curcumin supplements.

This is because turmeric is used in small amounts as a spice. Additionally, the spice contains only 2-8% curcumin, while the extract contains up to 95% curcumin.

It is advisable to choose a dietary supplement containing black pepper because the compounds in black pepper greatly improve the absorption of curcumin.

There are no official dosing guidelines for these supplements, but most studies suggest potential benefits at 500-2,000 mg of turmeric extract per day.

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