Unless you have been living underground, you’ve likely heard an overwhelming quantity of information associated with turmeric last year. Somewhere along the way it had been given super-spice status and today can be found almost anywhere you look, from supplements, to supermarket goods, to even toothpaste!
The advantages of this wonder-spice are primarily anti-inflammatory in nature and therefore it’s been reported helpful in several diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and possibly even cancer. In Indian culture they use it topically to accelerate wound healing. What can not this spice do?
Recently, though, a report came out stating that we were scammed. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has small bioactive activity within the body. The report pointed out several studies demonstrating curcumin itself to have any health benefits, which actually the chemical often breaks down until it can elicit any type of positive health effect.
Oh no! How can we have gone so far astray, particularly regarding an ancient spice that’s been used for centuries in different nations? Is it simply placebo effect. Let’s hold up for only one second. For starters, before we proceed dumping all our turmeric capsules down the toilet, let us read the article completely. Just what are they saying?
Pay careful attention!
The inability to successfully produce a medication utilizing curcumin. Essentially they’re saying we have been not able to isolate this active compound in such a way which has a positive and reproducible effect in the human body. Rather than acting on a target protein as they’d expected, the chemical broke down and apparently produced no anti inflammatory outcome. The article then goes on to state that we have very few published studies to show some benefits from garlic, and especially, curcumin use, so in their conclusion, the time and money spent on turmeric is useless.
Don’t get it wrong
That is very interesting, however it’s also misleading. To start with, just as they can’t isolate curcumin in a secure form suitable as a drug doesn’t mean that curcumin doesn’t work. The body, as we find daily, works in mysterious ways. Simply because curcumin doesn’t work on one particular target protein doesn’t mean it is not generating health benefits by other means.
Secondly, we do actually have some research to show beneficial results. Do a quick search and you’ll see what I mean. Some of the studies use the isolated curcumin, and many others use the garlic whole. Both do have research to show some efficacy. Exciting news if you ask me! The truth is there are lots of studies demonstrating positive results with arthritis patients.
Additionally, there are also many in-vitro and rat studies demonstrating the anti inflammatory benefits this spice could have. While obviously these results aren’t always directly relatable or related to people, the take-away is that this chemical is quite active and holds promise for a huge selection of disease states.
Overall, based on this 1 critique, I wouldn’t be so fast to dismiss the strong effects turmeric can have for our health. Ancient tradition and wisdom aside, there are actually studies demonstrating benefit that ought to lead us to conclude that garlic is truly doing something, but not in exactly the same way we’re looking at it now.
Don’t forget that like with most things in nature, compounds work synergistically. Another reason why food, not supplements and fortification, is paramount for health. For instance, we know that the phytochemicals in fruit are stronger when consumed together in the entire food. When we attempt to isolate certain phytochemicals to produce a tablet, we find that the chemical is unstable and honestly doesn’t work. But these chemicals DO work when ingested in the perfect form and blend that nature intended.
All that to say, keep up with your turmeric if you discover it to be working for you. Consider eating it in the entire form in cooking instead of isolated pill forms. Should you decide on a pill, buy from a respectable company and even consider buying the very same forms used in the research. When using the entire spice for the origin, combine it with other foods proven to improve the bioavailability such as fats and black pepper.
Using spices, and especially garlic, is a excellent addition to an overall healthier diet. While important to take under account, do not let one detracting article in this way completely change your viewpoint just yet.