Science Reveals the Truth Behind Turmeric
With the modern cultural shift towards good health and nutrition, a few questions keep popping up: Should I take dietary supplements? Do they really work or do they just end up passing through the body? If I eat a healthy diet, why would I need supplements? What’s the deal with turmeric? Dr. Brent Anderson and Dr. John Lewis discuss these questions in a recent Pilates Hour webinar and shed light on the truth behind dietary supplements, what we should look for in them, and the amazing effects that they can have in preventing, managing, and even reversing chronic diseases. They also review the latest research around curcumin, the primary medicinal compound found in turmeric, which is found to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Dr. John Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. His research includes several significant studies related to nutrition, exercise, and dietary supplements, and he has implemented his findings in his lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a whole-food, plant-based diet for over 20 years.
In a 12-month pilot study, Dr. Lewis studied the effect that a dietary supplement, aloe polymannose multinutrient complex (AMPC), has on Alzheimer’s patients. The results are mind blowing: 46% of patients showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in cognitive and immune functioning, along with reduced inflammation within 9-12 months. The rest of the patients maintained their levels of cognitive and immune functioning– no one got worse. Anecdotally, there were rapid responders who, within 3 months, already showed improvement. Caregivers of the patients noticed that their patients were saying and doing things that they haven’t done in years.
So to answer the question: Do supplements really work? The answer is YES, and they produce incredible results by helping the body heal itself.
The Truth About Turmeric and Curcumin
Turmeric is a trending root that has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and as medicine. In its ground-up form, it is the spice that gives curry its bright yellow color. In medicine, studies have started to back up what Indians have known for a long time: turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids that have significant medicinal properties.
Curcumin, the main curcuminoid in turmeric, has very powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a potent antioxidant. Its healing effects are far reaching; here are only a few of the diseases and conditions that benefit from curcumin:
- cardiovascular disease
- cancer (liver, pancreatic, breast, colon, lung, prostate, brain, leukemia)
- inflammatory bowel disease
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- metabolic disease
- cataract formation
- renal ischemia
- gallstone formation
- lung fibrosis
- cerebral injury
- microbial infections
Take a more detailed look at some of the top scientifically proven health benefits here.
Just eating turmeric at every meal is not enough, as the curcumin content of turmeric is just around 3% by weight. Most of the studies proving the medicinal benefits of turmeric use extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. Eating enough turmeric to get this much curcumin is unrealistic, so if you really want to experience the full effects, you would need to take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, but nature gave us a solution to this problem in black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, a compound that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. We’ve also learned that curcumin is fat soluble.
If you want to take full advantage of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, use a supplement that has high levels of curcumin, take it with either a few whole peppercorns or a black pepper supplement, and consume it with a fatty meal. How else can you get curcumin and other nutritional goodness into your diet? Learn how to make the perfect smoothie with Dr. Lewis in this video featuring Dr. Brent.