Many years ago, I was told about the benefits of turmeric on health and aging. It was another doctor, a friend, who was selling supplements. I was told that there was nothing turmeric couldn’t cure. The list included arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and many others. It seemed like a panacea, something I’ve heard before – but these promises are never fulfilled. I was skeptical, and never did any searching to see.
Now, years later, I work for a company that sells turmeric. I looked into it a little, at first, and found that it was a good anti-inflammatory, such as might be obtained from ibuprofen. I studied the absorption and utilization. It needs to be “cooked” and is best absorbed with black pepper. So, I helped create the supplement that is as good as, or better than, any on the market. However, I had not done that research into all the benefits for other illnesses, until now. I have been looking at research on turmeric for type 2 Diabetes because I have a lot of people asking if it will help them. I have said it might help inflammation, but now I see a lot of studies to show many more benefits.
It is common to have a company create a supplement from a natural ingredient and then pay for a bunch of studies to be done to prove it will cure everything. I don’t know if any of you remember the resveratrol debacle, where the researcher who was paid to show that resveratrol would erase heart disease even if the rats ate junk food, essentially made it all up. There is so much research that is fabricated in drugs that the editor of the most prestigious medical journal in the world said she could not trust anything published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Probably the second most prestigious journal, the Lancet, recently published an article that hydroxychloroquine was dangerous and didn’t work for COVID-19, that they later admitted was completely fabricated. So, I can’t trust medical journals, and I can’t trust supplement research, so how do I go about finding any truth?
I was gratified to find a great deal of research on turmeric including thousands of studies over many decades. There are animal and human studies. Most of them are not paid for by a marketing company. Funding comes from government research grants or non-profits. I also didn’t find much conflict-of-interest in these studies. Some of them were student projects, supervised by university professors. Moreover, there isn’t just one place. Some are in India, while others come out of Europe, China, and the United States. Moreover, they are in all sorts of medical journals including nutrition, medical, supplement, and specialty journals. Thus, I tend to find the bulk of the research on turmeric to be reliable.
Turmeric has been shown, in one study in India, to lower blood sugar, HbA1c, inflammatory markers, and cholesterol in those who had T2DM and were on Metformin.
Turmeric given to half of 240 people with pre-diabetes for only 9 months prevented them from progressing to diabetes. In the other half, 16% progressed to diabetes. None of these were on metformin. In fact, similar research on metformin shows turmeric to be superior.
Curcumin supplements may increase the secretion of insulin. This is similar to the effect of most of the diabetes drugs on the market, but remarkably, it doesn’t increase insulin resistance, but rather improves it. This makes turmeric far superior to prescription medications for diabetes because it won’t cause progression of disease. One study on mice was not just preventative, but actually reversed type 2 diabetes. The authors wrote: “We therefore conclude that orally ingested curcumin reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic derangements associated with obesity and improves glycemic control in mouse models of type 2 diabetes.”
It is common for us humans to parse out the “active ingredient” of everything and assume it is the same as the whole food. We take d-alpha-tocopherol as vitamin E and assume it is the same as the spectrum of tocopherols and tocotrienols that make up vitamin E in nature. The combination in the whole foods is probably better than the isolated “active ingredient.”
There is some evidence that turmeric, not isolated curcumin, may work better on the NF-kappa-B to prevent cancer and aging. However, there was one study that showed both turmeric and curcumin improved diabetes, but the curcumin was more effective. This may be due to the higher dose of curcumin.
Overall, the studies indicate that there are some benefits to the whole turmeric spice, but also others, especially for diabetes for the curcumin extract.
TurmericBP+ is a unique formulation that includes both the whole herb AND curcumin extract to assure maximum benefit for diabetes.
The curcuminoids in turmeric are generally not well-absorbed in the intestines. They need some processing (cooking) and are absorbed over 2,000 percent better when combined with black pepper (Bioperine). (People have thought the BP stands for Barton Publishing, but it really relates to Black Pepper, or Bioperine.) The black pepper allows the supplement to be absorbed at a high rate.
The dose is one daily for general use. If there is arthritis it can be taken three times per day. Those with diabetes can take between one daily, up to 2 capsules three times per day. How do you know? Test. If you have more inflammation, you might find more is better. Try one, and then increase the dose. If you notice that your pain improves, and/or your blood sugar is better, you may do well with a higher dose.
Take it with a meal that contains fat to improve absorption. This also prevents stomach upset that may occur from taking it on an empty stomach.
I could go on for a long time touting the benefits of turmeric. It won’t cure everything, but it helps a multitude of problems because of its amazing ability to lower inflammation, and all the associated problems. Indeed, as I was told many years ago, it seems like a panacea:
Lowers blood pressure
Prevents memory problems
Prevents heart disease
Helps in the treatment of cancer
Slows the aging process
And this is just the beginning. This is not to say that all of disease would disappear, and we would all live forever if everyone took turmeric, but it is a great addition to any anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, or metabolic program to reverse such problems. I don’t think it would take the place of a good diet, but it sure is a great addition. Coming from me, the skeptical pill-pusher, this is significant. I don’t like taking pills, but not that I know the benefits, I’m going to use more turmeric!
3 Indian J Clin Biochem . 2015 Apr;30(2):180-6. doi: 10.1007/s12291-014-0436-2. Epub 2014 May 8.
Efficacy of Turmeric as Adjuvant Therapy in Type 2 Diabetic Patients
N Maithili Karpaga Selvi 1, M G Sridhar 1, R P Swaminathan 2, R Sripradha 1
4 Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov; 35(11): 2121–2127. Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
Somlak Chuengsamarn, MD,1,2 Suthee Rattanamongkolgul, MD,3 Rataya Luechapudiporn, PHD,4 Chada Phisalaphong, PHD,5 and Siwanon Jirawatnotai, PHD6,7
6 Endocrinology. 2008 Jul;149(7):3549-58. doi: 10.1210/en.2008-0262. Epub 2008 Apr 10.
Dietary curcumin significantly improves obesity-associated inflammation and diabetes in mouse models of diabesity; Stuart P Weisberg 1, Rudolph Leibel, Drew V Tortoriello
7 J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo); . 2003 Aug;49(4):217-20. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.49.217.; Antioxidant activities of natural vitamin E formulations; Yousry Naguib 1, Siva P Hari, Richard Passwater Jr, Dejian Huang
8 Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Mar; 56(3): 454–465. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) inhibits inflammatory nuclear factor (NF)-κB and NF-κB-regulated gene products and induces death receptors leading to suppressed proliferation, induced chemosensitization, and suppressed osteoclastogenesis; Ji H. Kim, Subash C. Gupta, Byoungduck Park, Vivek R. Yadav, and Bharat B. Aggarwal
9 Plant Foods Hum Nutr . Winter 2002;57(1):41-52. doi: 10.1023/a:1013106527829.
Efficacy of turmeric on blood sugar and polyol pathway in diabetic albino rats; N Arun 1, N Nalini
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