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Tired of fake news? Here are four evidence-based facts about the popular anti-inflammatory, turmeric

06 Jun 2019 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
 

Recently, a number of news stories have questioned some of the pharmacological actions of turmeric. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years and has been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most popular complementary health products. Here are  four evidence-based facts about this widely used, anti-inflammatory spice:

 

  1. Turmeric is an increasingly popular supplement and a health food. The active compounds (primarily curcuminoids) that exert its therapeutic effects are found in varying quantities amongst different turmeric products. Concentrations of the active compounds are found in low amounts in the raw spice and dry herb extracts, whereas supplemental turmeric extracts provide standardised quantities of curcuminoids, which have been found to exert clinically significant effects.
  2. Human clinical trials have shown standardised turmeric extracts to be safe and effective in the management of osteoarthritis,[i] headaches,[ii] depression,[iii] non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,[iv] type 2 diabetes,[v] and various other pathologies.  
  3. As with all therapeutic ingredients, there is the potential for herb/nutrient/drug interactions. With regards to turmeric, its anticoagulant actions are due to the phytochemical coumarin, which may increase the risk of bleeding in individuals taking concurrent anticoagulant medications.
  4. All turmeric supplements listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia are subjected to rigorous scientific and safety evaluation and are deemed to be safe for use. Safety concerns around turmeric have being thoroughly researched and documented, with the potential for herb/drug interactions well understood.

 

Clinical-grade turmeric offers significant therapeutic benefits in many chronic diseases. However, because of the potential for herb/drug interactions, it is always recommended that consumers consult a qualified healthcare practitioner with the appropriate knowledge to safely co-prescribe turmeric.


[i] Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.

[ii] Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Di Maio EA, Appendino G, Franceschi F, Togni S. Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin, nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res.

2013;6:201-5. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S42184.

[iii] Lopresti AL, Maes M, Maker GL, Hood SD, Drummond PD. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001.

[iv] White CM, Lee JY. The impact of turmeric or its curcumin extract on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2019 Jan-Mar;17(1):1350. doi: 10.18549/PharmPract.2019.1.1350.

[v] Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Kurnianta PDM, Deawjaroen K. Effects of curcumin on glycemic control and lipid profile in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 23;14(4):e0215840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215840. eCollection 2019

[i] Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.

[ii] Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Di Maio EA, Appendino G, Franceschi F, Togni S. Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin, nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res.

2013;6:201-5. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S42184.

[iii] Lopresti AL, Maes M, Maker GL, Hood SD, Drummond PD. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001.

[iv] White CM, Lee JY. The impact of turmeric or its curcumin extract on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2019 Jan-Mar;17(1):1350. doi: 10.18549/PharmPract.2019.1.1350.

[v] Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Kurnianta PDM, Deawjaroen K. Effects of curcumin on glycemic control and lipid profile in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 23;14(4):e0215840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215840. eCollection 2019
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