In recent years, turmeric has become another trendy superfood sold as a natural spice, and in supplement form. There are many promises to drinking turmeric regularly, such as eliminating inflammation and chronic pain. But despite these claims, it is too early to conclude because only a small handful of clinical trials have been conducted to corroborate these findings.
Scientific studies about the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric
There have been many animal studies and small clinical human trials to observe the benefits of taking turmeric regularly. The findings concluded that turmeric contains Curcumin, which has some properties to reduce inflammation. These studies became the proponent to the widespread availability of turmeric shots and other supplement products that contain turmeric. These products target consumers looking for natural remedies for arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and colitis.
Although these pre-clinical trials show positive results, it will still depend on the results of large-scale trials to consider turmeric as a viable medication for inflammation in humans. There are a lot of factors to take into account when testing in humans, and these factors will likely impact the outcome.
Is it worth trying turmeric as a supplement?
Turmeric is a common spice used in Indian cooking and is a common food ingredient in other parts of Asia and the Middle East. If you like eating food containing turmeric, or drink some form or turmeric drink or tea, only a small amount of Curcumin will be ingested in your body.
If you are not trying to cure a chronic illness, adding turmeric into your regular diet will still provide some benefits. One of the problems with Curcumin is that it does not get absorbed into the body quickly. Some supplements include other ingredients like pepper to aid in absorption.
What are the precautions of taking turmeric as a supplement?
The main concern with turmeric is the source. There were FDA studies that showed some turmeric powder available commercially might sometimes contain contaminants like lead. Lead and other heavy metals are hazardous to the health, which is why it is vital to carefully research the source and manufacturer of turmeric supplements you are buying.
Another possible concern is that manufacturers of turmeric and other natural health supplements are not regulated the same way as pharmaceutical companies. There is no vetting process to confirm whether the ingredients indicated on the label are precisely what is contained inside the bottle.
There were also some concerns on the possible side effects of taking too much turmeric. Some have experienced diarrhoea and stomach pains. Turmeric is also counter-indicative to some chronic conditions, which is why it is necessary to consult your doctor if you are planning to drink turmeric supplements. For people who are taking medication such as blood thinners, turmeric may have a severe reaction to these medicines.
In conclusion, there is a lot of potential for the medical and health benefits of turmeric, but it is best not to get carried away until extensive medical studies have been conducted. In the meantime, it is still safe to take it as a supplement, and in moderation.
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