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Nutritional Supplement

Turmeric

Parts Used & Where Grown

The vast majority of turmeric comes from India. Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many curries, giving them color and flavor. The root and rhizome (underground stem) are used medicinally.

How It Works

The active constituent is known as curcumin. It has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic actions. First, it protects against free radical damage because it is a strong antioxidant.1,2 Second, it reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels and possibly by increasing production of natural cortisone by the adrenal glands.3 Third, it protects the liver from a number of toxic compounds.4 Fourth, it has been shown to reduce platelets from clumping together, which in turn improves circulation and may help protect against atherosclerosis.5 There are also test-tube and animal studies showing a cancer-preventing action of curcumin. In one of these studies, curcumin effectively inhibited metastasis (uncontrolled spread) of melanoma (skin cancer) cells.6 This may be due to its antioxidant activity in the body. Curcumin inhibits HIV in test tubes, though human trials are needed to determine if it has any usefulness for treating humans with this condition.7

A preliminary trial in people with rheumatoid arthritis found curcumin to be somewhat useful for reducing inflammation and symptoms such as pain and stiffness.8 A separate double-blind trial found that curcumin was superior to placebo or phenylbutazone (an NSAID) for alleviating post-surgical inflammation.9

While a double-blind trial has found turmeric helpful for people with indigestion,10 results in people with stomach or intestinal ulcers have not shown it to be superior to a placebo and have demonstrated it to be less effective than antacids.11,12

Preliminary research indicates a possible benefit of oral curcumin supplementation (375 mg of turmeric extract with 95% curcuminoids three times daily for 12 weeks) for chronic anterior uveitis (inflammation of the iris and middle coat of the eyeball).13

References

1. Sreejayan N, Rao MNA. Free radical scavenging activity of curcuminoids. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46:169-71.

2. Ramirez-Boscá A, Soler A, Gutierrez MAC, et al. Antioxidant curcuma extracts decrease the blood lipid peroxide levels of human subjects. Age 1995;18:167-9.

3. Arora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma longa (turmeric). Indian J Med Res 1971;59:1289-95.

4. Kiso Y, Suzuki Y, Watanbe N, et al. Antihepatotoxic principles of Curcuma longa rhizomes. Planta Med 1983;49:185-7.

5. Srivastava R, Dikshit M, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Anti-thrombotic effect of curcumin. Thromb Res 1985;40:413-7.

6. Menon LG, Kuttan R, Kuttan G. Anti-metastatic activity of curcumin and catechin. Cancer Lett 1999;141:159-65.

7. Barthelemy S, Vergnes L, Moynier M, et al. Curcumin and curcumin derivatives inhibit Tat-mediated transactivation of type 1 human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat. Res Virol 1998;149:43-52.

8. Deodhar SD, Sethi R, Srimal RC. Preliminary studies on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane). Ind J Med Res 1980;71:632-4.

9. Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. Evaluation of antiinflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:651-4.

10. Thamlikitkul V, Bunyapraphatsara N, Dechatiwongse T, et al. Randomized double blind study of Curcuma domestica Val for dyspepsia. J Med Assoc Thai 1989;72:613-20.

11. Van Dau N, Ngoc Ham N, Huy Khac D, et al. The effects of traditional drug, turmeric (Curcuma longa), and placebo on the healing of duodenal ulcer. Phytomedicine 1998;5:29-34.

12. Kositchaiwat C, Kositchaiwat S, Havanondha J. Curcuma longa Linn in the treatment of gastric ulcer comparison to liquid antacid: A controlled clinical trial. J Med Assoc Thai 1993;76:601-5.

13. Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytotherapy Res 1999;13:318-22.

14. Safayhi H, Mack T, Saieraj J, et al. Boswellic acids: Novel, specific, nonredox inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1992;261:1143-6.

15. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee - a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2003;10:3-7.

16. Sontakke S, Thawani V, Pimpalkhute S, et al. Open, randomized, controlled clinical trial of Boswellia serrata extract as compared to valdecoxib in osteoarthritis of knee. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:27-9.

17. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33:91-5.

18. Panahi Y, Rahimnia AR, Sharafi M, et al. Curcuminoid treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Phytother Res 2014;28:1625–31.

19. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33:91-5.

20. Deodhar SD, Sethi R, Srimal RC. Preliminary studies on antirheumatic activity of curcumin (diferuloyl methane). Ind J Med Res 1980;71:632-4.

21. Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Med Hypoth 1992;39:342-8.

22. Chopra A, Lavin P, Patwardhan B, Chitre D. Randomized double blind trial of an Ayurvedic plant derived formulation for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol 2000;27:1365-72.

23. Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. Evaluation of antiinflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:651-4.

24. Ghatak N, Basu N. Sodium curcuminate as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Indian J Exp Biol 1972;10:235-6.

25. Chandra D, Gupta SS. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of volatile oil of curcuma longa (Haldi). Indian J Med Res 1972;60:138-42.

26. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33:91-5.

27. Panahi Y, Badeli R, Karami GR, Sahebkar A. Investigation of the efficacy of adjunctive therapy with bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids in major depressive disorder. Phytother Res 2015;29:17–21.

28. Lopresti AL, Maes M, Maker GL, et al. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord 2014;167:368–75.

29. Yu JJ, Pei LB, Zhang Y, et al. Chronic supplementation of curcumin enhances the efficacy of antidepressants in major depressive disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2015;35:406-410.

30. Forster HB, Niklas H, Lutz S. Antispasmodic effects of some medicinal plants. Planta Med 1980;40:303-19.

31. Thamlikitkul V, Bunyapraphatsara N, Dechatiwongse T, et al. Randomized double blind study of Curcuma domestica Val for dyspepsia. J Med Assoc Thai 1989;72:613-20.

32. Portincasa P, Bonfrate L, Scribano ML, et al. Curcumin and fennel essential oil improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. J Gastrointestin Liver Dis 2016;25:151–7.

33. Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci 2005;50:2191-3.

34. Hanai H, Iida T, Takeuchi K, et al. Curcumin maintenance therapy for ulcerative colitis: randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2006;4:1502-6.

35. Holt PR, Katz S, Kirshoff R. Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci 2005;50:2191-3.

36. Srivastava R, Dikshit M, Srimal RC, Dhawan BN. Anti-thrombotic effect of curcumin. Thromb Res 1985;40:413-7.

37. Srivastava KC, Bordia A, Verma SK. Curcumin, a major component of food spice turmeric (Curcuma longa) inhibits aggregation and alters eicosanoid metabolism in human blood platelets. Prost Leuk Essen Fat Acids. 1995;52:223-7.

38. Pulliero G, Montin S, et al. Ex vivo study of the inhibitory effects of Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) anthocyanosides on human platelet aggregation. Fitoterapia 1989;60:69-75.

39. Liu J. Effect of Paeonia obovata 801 on metabolism of thromboxane B2 and arachidonic acid and on platelet aggregation in patients with coronary heart disease and cerebral thrombosis. Chin Med J 1983;63:477-81 [in Chinese].

40. Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. Evaluation of antiinflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:651-4.

41. Ghatak N, Basu N. Sodium curcuminate as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Indian J Exp Biol 1972;10:235-6.

42. Chandra D, Gupta SS. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of volatile oil of curcuma longa (Haldi). Indian J Med Res 1972;60:138-42.

43. Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol 1991;33:91-5.

44. Khayat S, Fanaei H, Kheirkhah M, et al. Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med 2015;23:318–24.

45. Khayat S, Fanaei H, Kheirkhah M, et al. Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med 2015;23:318–24.

46. Norred CL, Zamudio S, Palmer SK. Use of complementary and alternative medicines by surgical patients. AANA J 2000;68:13-8.

47. Murphy JM. Preoperative considerations with herbal medicines. AORN J 1999;69:173-5, 177-8, 180-3.

48. Robb-Nicholson C. By the way, doctor. My surgeon advised me to stop taking gingko biloba before my hip surgery. Can you explain why? Are there any other herbs I should avoid? Harv Womens Health Watch 2000;7:8.

49. Arora RB, Basu N, Kapoor V, Jain AP. Anti-inflammatory studies on Curcuma longa (turmeric). Indian J Med Res 1971;59:1289-95.

50. Satoskar RR, Shah SJ, Shenoy SG. Evaluation of antiinflammatory property of curcumin (diferuloyl methane) in patients with postoperative inflammation. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:651-4.

51. Copeland R, Baker D, Wilson H. Curcumin therapy in HIV-infected patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:216 [abstract no. PB0876].

52. Hellinger JA, Cohen CJ, Dugan ME, et al. Phase I/II randomized, open-label study of oral curcumin safety, and antiviral effects on HIV-RT PCR in HIV+ individuals. 3rd Conf Retro and Opportun Infect 1996;Jan/Feb:78 [abstract].

53. Hishikawa N, Takahashi Y, Amakusa Y, et al. Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Ayu 2012;33:499-504.

54. Lal B, Kapoor AK, Asthana OP, et al. Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis. Phytotherapy Res 1999;13:318-22.

55. Foster S. 101 Medicinal Herbs. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1998, 200-1.

56. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 222.

57. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, et al. American Herbal Products Association Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 39.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learn more about TraceGains, the company.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.