Turmeric root, which gives Indian curry and ballpark mustard their signature yellow colour, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions. Only recently, though, has the spice received the attention of scientists for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Research suggests extracts of turmeric can relieve symptoms of indigestion, prevent irritable bowel syndrome and alleviate knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Turmeric’s health benefits are attributed to an active ingredient called curcumin. The majority of studies have been focused on curcuma rather than turmeric.
Experiments in test tubes have demonstrated the ability of curcumin to kill colon-cancer cells. In people, preliminary evidence suggests taking curcumin may reduce symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also been shown to prevent the development of Type-2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Earlier this month, a study published in Clinical Nutrition found that taking curcumin supplements reduced inflammation in people with metabolic syndrome. A person is thought to have metabolic syndrome if he or she has a large waist circumference plus two or more of the following symptoms: high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated fasting blood glucose and low HDL (good) cholesterol. The cluster of risk factors is thought to double the risk of heart attack and increase the likelihood of developing Type-2 diabetes fivefold.
Source: the globeand mail