Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Often supplemented to support joint health, recent studies have shown that turmeric and curcumin may work for weight loss.
What Is Turmeric
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is one of the most popular and effective supplements that has ever existed. Traditionally used as a spice and medicinal herb, recent research indicates clear evidence that turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is a strong anti-oxidant.
What Does Turmeric Do?
Turmeric contains compounds with anti-inflammatory and medicinal properties called curcuminoids. The most vital compound within turmeric is its active ingredient curcumin. A large body of evidence shows that in addition to curcumin, turmeric contains over one hundred unique chemical properties that contribute to its countless therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is a polyphenol (micronutrients that are packed with antioxidants) and targets multiple signaling molecules at the cellular level. Curcumin has proven to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help in the management of chronic inflammation, specifically affecting the joints, thus enhancing mobility, reducing pain, and optimizing quality of life.
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Does Turmeric Help Weight Loss?
According to the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) the prevalence of obesity in the US increased from 30-42.4% from 2017-2018 as compared to previous years with cases of severe obesity exhibiting an increase of 5%.
Turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the same properties which may in fact aid in weight loss. Research suggests that curcumin has protective effects against regaining weight, through the inhibition of adipose tissue growth and increasing insulin sensitivity [R].
An Italian study conducted a randomized control trial, to evaluate the effects of curcumin on weight loss. 44 subjects who had lost at least 2% of their total body weight were treated with 800mg of curcumin with 8mg of piperine twice per day for thirty days post diet and training. The results showed that curcumin increased weight loss, (1.88 to 4.91%), enhanced body fat reduction (from 0.70 to 8.43%), increased waistline reduction (from 2.36 to 4.14%), improved hip circumference reduction from 0.74 to 2.51% and enhanced reduction of BMI (from 2.10 to 6.43%). Although this is a preliminary study, the findings suggest that curcumin could positively influence weight management [R].
A study investigating the effects of Turmeric on knee osteoarthritis, found that in addition to the reduction of joint pain, patients taking curcumin, also lost nearly 2% of their total body weight in just four weeks [R].
What’s The Optimal Dose Of Turmeric For Weight Loss
Studies indicate that a dose of 1600mg of curcumin per day, will produce anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to potentially aid in weight loss.
When purchasing a turmeric supplement, is must be combined with piperine, or Bioperine to enhance bioavailability and absorption [R].
Turmeric For Weight Loss: Takeaway
Healthy dietary lifestyle choices can often be hard to adopt, especially for those that have been overweight for an extensive period of time. Often, diet culture, weight loss challenges, and drastically cutting calories can result in bad habits, and regained weight. Creating a nutrition plan with healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins, is crucial to encourage weight loss and improved quality of life. Studies suggest that supplementing turmeric in conjunction with a nutrition plan and training program, may potentially help increase weight loss. More evidence is needed to validate and replicate study results of turmeric and curcumin for weight loss with real world outcomes.
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Teich T, Pivovarov JA, Porras DP, Dunford EC, Riddell MC. Curcumin limits weight gain, adipose tissue growth, and glucose intolerance following the cessation of exercise and caloric restriction in rats. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Dec 1;123(6):1625-1634. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01115.2016. Epub 2017 Aug 24. PMID: 28839007; PMCID: PMC5814682.
Ding L, Li J, Song B, Xiao X, Zhang B, Qi M, Huang W, Yang L, Wang Z. Curcumin rescues high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin sensitivity in mice through regulating SREBP pathway. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016 Aug 1;304:99-109. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 18. PMID: 27208389.
Di Pierro F, Bressan A, Ranaldi D, Rapacioli G, Giacomelli L, Bertuccioli A. Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Nov;19(21):4195-202. PMID: 26592847.