Good Advice

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spicy news: Turmeric is the trendy new nutritional supplement

Turmeric trendy anti-inflammatory supplement

What do French fries, a bottle of wine, and chronic stress have in common? They’re all causes of inflammation. (And you don’t want that, since inflammation is the root of pretty much every degenerative illness.)

But there’s an awesome antidote emerging—and it comes from the spice rack: turmeric.

With some promising research backing its benefits, turmeric—that very same staple of Asian and Indian cuisine—is becoming a trendy nutritional supplement. What can it do besides give your curries that signature shade of yellow?

Wellness gurus point to a megastudy that surveyed more than 700 research papers on turmeric, and concluded that curcumin (an antioxidant found in turmeric) has substantial disease-prevention powers and other benefits. Here are just some of them:

Turmeric Alive Juice

Turmeric Alive Juice: A sign of the spice's trendiness

1. “It guards against cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s,” says Frank Lipman, MD, who personally takes two turmeric supplements a day. The megastudy also showed turmeric outperformed many pharmaceuticals, and with almost no side effects.

2. Turmeric can do wonders for inflammation-related skin-care concerns, like psoriasis, acne, and sun damage. That’s why Nicholas Perricone, MD, adds it to his sunscreens as well as his diet.

3. And one of the most recent studies to tout turmeric’s benefits and other antioxidant spices, showed that they reduced the negative effects of high-fat meals, lowering insulin response by about 20 percent. We expect a full-on turmeric boom when word gets out about this one!

So how much turmeric should you take to help manage your stress and inflammation? Dr. Andrew Weil, who’s written extensively about turmeric, recommends 400 to 600 milligrams three times per day. (Look for 95 percent curcuminoids on the label, and for piperine, a component of black pepper, that helps facilitate absorption.) Or sip on a Turmeric Live juice, sold at yoga studios, after class. —Jennifer Kass

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