Doctor Explains the Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Remember that yellow color powder is present in your spice box or in a glass jar which you have been told to not touch otherwise you will end up messing with your clothes
Haldi/turmeric which is always present in the spice box of every household has a large amount of anti-inflammatory properties. (Representational image: Pixabay)
Haldi/turmeric which is always present in the spice box of every household has a large amount of anti-inflammatory properties. (Representational image: Pixabay)

What is Turmeric?

The spice responsible for giving curry its vibrant yellow color is turmeric, also known as Indian saffron, jiang Huang, Haridra, and Haldi. This spice is cultivated in various Asian countries and is scientifically called Curcuma longa. Turmeric, or Haldi, has been a staple ingredient in numerous traditional Indian dishes renowned for its vivid color and anti-inflammatory properties.

What does it contain?

Turmeric or Curcumin longa, is an herbaceous plant belonging to the ginger family. The plant produces a variety of secondary metabolites including flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and phenolic acid, among which the active hydrophobic polyphenol diferuloylmethane, named curcumin is of special notice.

What is curcumin and why is it so special?

Turmeric or Haldi has compounds with medicinal properties called curcuminoids. Curcumin is one of them. The curcumin content of turmeric is only around 1-6% by weight. Curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream due to its low bioavailability. Many people consume it with black pepper, which has Piperine. Piperine is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.

Curcumin has medicinal properties its the presence of curcumin in turmeric that makes it awesome. (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Curcumin has medicinal properties its the presence of curcumin in turmeric that makes it awesome. (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Let’s See What the Internet Has to Say about This:

In an Instagram video shared on his Instagram handle - doctor.agni; Dr. Agni Kumar Bose, MBBS MD, Dermatology, venerology took to his Instagram and shared a video where he shared his reviews about using Haldi as a treatment for cancer.

Dr Agni said that the presence of curcumin in Haldi is what makes it unique.

What does this curcumin do?

Dr. Agni explained the following points:

1. Anti-aging properties: that make you look younger, and give your skin a glow; this is the reason why an Indian wedding has a Haldi ceremony.

2. Arthritis: reduced joint pain and inflammation

3. Prevents heart diseases

4. Prevents many types of cancer in animals, human trials are being done

How much turmeric should be consumed daily?

The doctor explained – that one tablet of curcumin which is already there in the market is 1300 mg.

One teaspoon of Haldi has only 200mg of curcumin which is 6 times less and we are not able to absorb more than half of it

World Health Organization [WHO] stated the acceptable daily intake of curcuminoids as a food additive in the range of 0-3mg/kg. the average age of turmeric intake in the Indian diet is approximately 2-2.5g for a 60kg individual which corresponds to a daily intake of approximately 60-100 mg of CUR.

How do we increase its absorption:

1. Have it with pepper

2. Mix it with fat such as cooking oil, ghee, and milk.

3. Slightly warm it

Haldi doodh or turmeric milk has been considered one of the best ways to consume turmeric since ancient times. (Representational image: Unsplash)
Haldi doodh or turmeric milk has been considered one of the best ways to consume turmeric since ancient times. (Representational image: Unsplash)

Other benefits of turmeric:

1. Lessen inflammation

2. Improves memory

3. In Alzheimer’s disease

4. Helps against depression

How is Haldi associated to Cancer?

Currently, no clear evidence shows turmeric or curcumin can prevent cancer. Research trials are still going on. In 2013, a study in an international laboratory on BOWEL CANCER CELLS. they looked at the combined treatment effects, of curcumin and Chemotherapy. They concluded that combined treatment might be better.

A systemic review (Normando et al., 2019) looked at curcumin given topically to people with chemoradiotherapy-induced oral mucositis in Head and neck cancer patients. delay in onset (Grade 1) was also performed to assess the prophylactic effect of curcumin. (6)

One study which focused on colorectal cancer, saw a 40% reduction of the number of lesions in the colon in men. (7)

However, more studies are needed to compare the results.

Side Effects Of Turmeric:

The amount of turmeric used in cooking is very safe, but we don’t know the side effects of taking it in large amounts. There were some reported cases of stomach pain.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned against Fortodol (also sold as Miradin). It is a turmeric-based food supplement, containing other ingredients.  

Fortodol contains nimesulide, which can cause severe liver damage. It does not have a license as a medicine in the UK.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the USA states that products with unknown amounts of nimesulide could be very harmful.

Summary

Turmeric is promoted as an alternative for cancer treatment but the research is still going on. Taking a limited amount of turmeric daily can help with many problems due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Always consult your doctor if you are under any medication. It may have side effects if taken in large amounts.be safe and don’t  let turmeric only stain your clothes

References:

1. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric (Cited on 06/07/2024)

2. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/turmeric-health-benefits (Cited on 06/07/2024)

3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#medicinal-properties (Cited on 06/07/2024)

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8464730/ (Cited on 06/07/2024)

 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388087/ (Cited on 06/07/2024)

6. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Efficacy of Curcumin/Turmeric for the Prevention and Amelioration of Radiotherapy/Radiochemotherapy Induced Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer Patients - PMC (nih.gov) (Cited on10/07/2024)

7. Phase IIa clinical trial of curcumin for the prevention of colorectal neoplasia - PubMed (nih.gov) (Cited on 10/07/2024)

Input from various sources

(Original/Simran Sethi/MSM)

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