Turmeric, a rhizome (related to ginger), often found in India and Indonesia is a spice that has been used traditionally for over 4000 years within Ayurveda, cooking and religious ceremonies on a daily basis. Turmeric is fast growing in reputation with over 9500 studies and trials carried out - to date - on turmeric, curcumin and a number of the other 200+ compounds of the rhizome. Many of these studies can be found
HERE on the National Institutes of Health website.
Per 100g of Turmeric powder, you can find 72% of your daily requirement of Potassium and 84% of your Fibre needs as well as 90% of your B6! Turmeric contains significant levels of Magnesium, Iron, Vitamins C, E, K, B6 B12 and Folate. It also contains over other minerals including Phosphorus, Zinc, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin and Beta-carotene. It is these 200+ compounds, minerals and vitamins that work synergistically together to create the super spice.
Turmeric is regularly making headlines, with many documentary shows on tv and Doctors and Professors interviewed on the radio.
SCIENCE AND RESARCH
The most studied compounds in turmeric are a group called curcuminoids which include Curcumin (Diferuloylmeethane), Desmethoxycurcumin and Bisdemethoxycurcumin. The most studied of which is curcumin, present at 5.1% in our products. Turmeric contains a number of volatile oils such as Turmerone, Atlantone and Zingiberene as well as bio-active proteins, resins and sugars. Other lesser known compounds include Phellandrene, Cineol, Sabinene and Borneol.
BBC2 series, 'Trust me I'm a Doctor' with Dr Michael Mosley discovered that turmeric could prevent an action called 'cell methylation' with one particular gene in the human body. This particular gene was responsible for asthma, arthritis and eczema. Though more research was deemed necessary, the preliminary results were positive.
"The results also suggest that eating small amounts of turmeric regularly may have a positive impact on your health. It IS early days, but it may well be that this modest spice could help protect us from a range of chronic diseases. Which, if you needed it, is a good excuse to have a curry!" Read More HERE
Dr Joseph Jebelli has been doing research into turmeric for Alzheimer’s. He has discovered that turmeric can help to break down the proteins that form in the brain which is an exciting first step into investigating turmeric's potential with the disease. A radio interview with Dr Jebelli can be found HERE
Professor Widschwendter worked with e BBC2 documentary and is excited by early research that shows cell methylation is responsible for some forms of cancer. He plans to investigate further IF and how turmeric could be a factor in the prevention of these in the future using his technique to develop strategies that we might use in order to prevent cancer long before it develops.
DIFFICULTIES USING TURMERIC MEDICINALLY
Turmeric, whilst showing great potential in many studies, is notoriously difficult for some speicies (human and canine in particular) to utilise. Turmeric powder in its raw form is processed and excreted from the body rapidly in the liver and intestine. Some of the compounds within turmeric are lipophilic - which means they only bind to oil. By taking turmeric with an oil, you allow for solubility of these compounds which in turn enables your body to absorb the nutrients. A study by BioPerine, found that the addition of piperine - a compound in black pepper - would increase the lengeth of time the bio-active compounds were available within the body. Piperine is a well known inhibitor of hepatic and intestinal glucuronidation, which means it prohibits the metabolism of these compounds in the liver and intestine.
Much more research is needed into turmeric, IF and how it could be used medicinally, but for the time being using it regularly as a supplememnt appears to have very few if any side effects. There are known medicinal interactions however and these can be checked HERE.