Turmeric spice extract produces 'many good effects' on our health
Spoon it on (or less): Low doses of an extract from the orangeish-yellow spice turmeric can lower triglycerides and boost antioxidants, an OARDC study suggests.
A low dose of a curcumin extract from turmeric spice can have a variety of positive health effects on healthy middle-aged individuals, according to research by an OARDC scientist presented at the 2012 Experimental Biology meeting in April in San Diego.
Robert DiSilvestro, a professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, studied a supplement containing 80 mg of curcumin extract mixed with small amounts of natural fat compounds intended to boost the extract's absorbability. The subjects were healthy men and women ages 40-60. (Previous trials had looked at people with existing health problems.)
The study found "that this particular supplement was relatively well absorbed because a low dose produced many good effects on blood and saliva measures," DiSilvestro said.
Among those effects: Lower triglyceride levels, which are linked to heart disease; higher plasma levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that can work against high blood pressure; and lower plasma concentrations of sICAM, a molecule linked to atherosclerosis, the process of artery hardening.
Low doses may be possible; healthy people, too, may benefit
- Other curcumin supplements (ones either used in other studies or sold as dietary supplements) may contain 1,000 mg or more of curcumin extract, because curcumin, DiSilvestro said, is poorly absorbed by the body.
- "The problem with most (curcumin) extracts is that they need to be taken in high doses," DiSilvestro said. However, "Such high doses defeat part of the purpose of taking a supplement."
- The supplement used with the curcumin extract is called Longvida and is made by Verdure Sciences, Noblesville, Ind., which funded the study.
To contact the scientist: Robert DiSilvestro at firstname.lastname@example.org.