Does turmeric help to reduce inflammation?

A Canadian study of more than 600 patients who underwent medical intervention observed no particular effects of turmeric on inflammation. But researchers do not rule out a possible beneficial effect of this spice on other forms of inflammation.

Turmeric, sold in the form of spices and supplements, has become a very popular ingredient. This plant has been used for thousands of years in Indian and Chinese medicine. But despite its promises ranging from the elimination of chronic pain to the healing of various diseases, a new study suggests that marketing has taken a slight lead on science.

Previously, many animal studies and some human trials have indicated that turmeric , the active compound of turmeric, would have anti-inflammatory properties. This is why this plant has become a popular remedy for diseases such as arthritis, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. But based on these new, large-scale work published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, there is no evidence that turmeric supplements reduce inflammation in humans.

“We were very open-minded to the potential benefits of turmeric based on the positive results of many previous studies,” says the lead author, Amit Garg, quoted by Consumer Reports. The team therefore analyzed the effects of turmeric supplements on post-surgical inflammation. The trial involved more than 600 patients who underwent interventions in 10 Canadian hospitals.

Take into account the context
After several analyses, the researchers did not observe any particular effects of turmeric on surgery-related inflammation. The context of this work must be taken into account: the average age of the subjects was 76 years and most of them suffered from medical complications, the scientists specify.

“This study shows that turmeric has not reduced post-surgical inflammation in elderly people with severe medical conditions, but these results may not apply to younger and healthier populations,” summarizes the Research director Chris of Adamo.

So it is not impossible that this spice helps to relieve some of the inflammation associated with arthritis, colitis, or other diseases, but other studies are needed to ensure it. “For someone who is not trying to use turmeric to manage a chronic disease, adding turmeric to food can still provide benefits,” he says. However, be sure to ask your doctor if you plan to take supplements, as they may interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants.


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