Thursday, January 12, 2017

Turmeric - not all it's spiced up to be?

Put down the turmeric. It's not the answer to all your aches and pains. Gold as it may appear, it's not the miracle gem you thought it is, but could be fool's gold. 

For the kitchen-challenged, turmeric is a spice that has been used in cooking for centuries. In the past, scientists have shown biological activities associated with intake of turmeric, although they do not fully understand the whys and hows. Further studies pointed to the specific substance in turmeric, curcumin, which showed anything to everything cure - from preventing inflammation to detoxification, to preventing kidney damage, to treating cancer. Then, recent experiments showed that turmeric could also interfere with chemotherapy drugs. It's also still unclear how curcumin may interact with other medications.This leads to the question on whether this spice is helpful or harmful.

Take a read hereThe main takeaway is that turmeric extracts contain dozens of compounds besides curcumin; some are very closely related molecules. So it's possible that observed activity findings are ascribed to the wrong molecule. Research is ongoing, but until it's conclusive, talk to your doctor before using any herbal supplement or chugging down the spice rack.

Ah, Science. Always setting people straight. But no one says this should stop you from enjoying your curries!