Michael Mosley and Turmeric – Does It Really Help With Pain and Inflammation?
By Wen Liu • August 28, 2019
Turmeric is a popular spice with many different benefits. Find out how turmeric can help you.
Have you heard about turmeric?
If you’re into different types of cuisine, you may recognize it. It’s a spice that gives curry that deep luscious color.
But it does more than that.
The country of India has been using this spice for cooking and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
But modern science is just now catching up.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice. It is a very strong antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
The media may sensationalize its benefits, but science proves that many of the benefits are true.
Find out how it can help you.
Michael Mosley’s Investigation
Turmeric is in the spotlight. But just how many benefit claims are true?
Michael Mosley and his team set out to find the truth. 1
He recruited 100 volunteers from Newcastle University for the experiment. They were then separated into three random groups.
The first group received one teaspoon of turmeric a day. They mixed it into their food. This happened over a period of 6 weeks.
Another group received their turmeric portion in the form of a supplement. The last group received a placebo that didn’t contain turmeric at all.
At the end of the 6 weeks, they drew blood samples for analysis by Professor Martin Widschwendter of the University College of London.
The professor found some intriguing results from the samples.
The volunteers who took turmeric with their food showed a significant change in their DNA. More notably, the genes associated with different ailments like inflammation showed some alteration.
The other groups didn’t show the same DNA changes.
For example, why were there only favorable results for volunteers who took turmeric with food?
You may think that cooking with it activated beneficial results. This would make sense because the main active ingredient is curcumin. Curcumin is lipophilic. And a lipophilic substance binds to fats.
But not all volunteers who took the powder cooked with it. Some merely mixed it into their yogurt.
There’s also some speculation that it could have something to do with fat absorption. However, that’s only a guess until scientists conduct more testing.
Turmeric has the potential to provide different benefits that could impact your life.
A teaspoon of turmeric has the potential to help chronic inflammation and pain that’s common in many seniors. The spice could eventually help seniors lead more active lifestyles.
Even if you don’t like curry, you can use turmeric in a variety of foods. The volunteers found favorable results mixing it into yogurt. And some coffee houses are even making lattes that feature this golden spice.
What does this mean for you?
Turmeric is far from a miracle cure. But the results look promising.
The Many Benefits of Turmeric
There are other proven benefits of turmeric. Find out what science says about using turmeric and how it could benefit your health.
Benefit #1 – Antioxidant
You can’t turn back the clock. But oxidative damage can speed up aging in the body. It’s also a mechanism behind many diseases.
Free radicals are a culprit for oxidative damage. They react to important organic substances. Proteins, fatty acids, and DNA are especially vulnerable to free radicals.
So, that’s why you need antioxidants. They help protect your body from free radicals.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant. Its chemical structure can neutralize free radicals.
Your body has its own antioxidant enzymes. Studies show that this same antioxidant in turmeric can boost its activity in your body. Not only does turmeric add antioxidants to your body but it stimulates your own enzymes.
Benefit #2 – Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)
For the longest time, popular belief has it that neurons in the brain stopped dividing and multiplying after early childhood.
Science proves differently now, though.
You don’t have to settle for the brain you were born with because neurons are capable of forming new connections. Connections can also multiply and increase in certain areas.
One of the main drivers behind this growth is a hormone that functions in the brain. The process is a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Curcumin can boost BDNF levels. 2
This could potentially mean an improvement in brain processes like memory. The subject requires more study, but preliminary findings look promising.
Benefit #3 – Blood Vessel Linings
The endothelium improves blood vessel linings. It helps regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and other factors. But dysfunction in this area can lead to diseases.
Studies suggest that curcumin can help improve the function of this important lining. One study found that it may be as effective as exercise. 3
Does that mean you can skip the gym for a teaspoon of turmeric? Not necessarily.
A nice bowl of curry may not replace the benefits of physical activity. However, it may help enhance the positive effects on the body.
Benefit #4 – Antiviral
One study showed that curcumin may have antiviral properties as well. It’s still too early to say how it may affect other viruses. But preliminary tests look good.
Scientists replicated the Rift Valley Fever virus in human cells. Data shows that curcumin inhibits the virus in cells. 4
This may not mean that turmeric can immediately treat viruses. But it’s a good start. And you may have one more tool in your arsenal to combat viruses – eventually.
Benefit #5 – Cholesterol
Another study revealed that curcumin may help lower total cholesterol levels. Although it’s only one study, the data looks good. 5
Heart disease is a leading condition for senior citizens. Many seniors struggle with high cholesterol levels. Despite diet and exercise, some find it difficult to get those levels under control.
Scientists can perform more tests in this area. If they point towards turmeric as a way to reduce cholesterol, you may have another option to keep healthy.
Benefit #6 – Easy to Use
You may see turmeric in the spotlight a lot lately. It’s the new superfood that everyone has their eye on. Do a simple internet search and you’ll find a multitude of recipes pop up in your result.
And there’s a good reason for everyone’s infatuation: turmeric is good for your body.
Turmeric is a root that resembles ginger. When ground into a powder, it has a rich, golden color.
Asian and Indian medicine has used turmeric for centuries as an anti-inflammatory compound. But science shows that that’s the first of many benefits.
So, how do you incorporate this yellow powder into your diet?
Don’t worry, it’s famously used in Southeast Asian and Indian cooking. But that’s not the only way to use it.
Take a look at some simple tips to incorporate turmeric into your meals:
Make Turmeric Paste At Home
Do you enjoy golden milk lattes?
If you do, you can make them at home by making a turmeric paste. Simply combine these five ingredients in a bowl or mixer to make your paste at home:
- ➡️ Extra virgin coconut oil
- ➡️ Ground turmeric
- ➡️ Cinnamon
- ➡️ Black pepper
- ➡️ Ginger
Dissolve a little paste into a mug of warm coconut or almond milk and sweeten with honey.
Don’t skip the black pepper, though.
It sounds a little weird but a compound found in black pepper helps your stomach absorb turmeric better into the bloodstream.
Add Turmeric in Your Smoothie
If you enjoy morning smoothies, you can add turmeric to them. It’s a great addition to your morning pick-me-up. And it adds a unique kick of flavor, too.
Try adding freshly peeled turmeric root if you can find it. Otherwise, use a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a tasty way to start your morning.
Drink Turmeric Tea
Also, if you’re a tea drinker you can simply add a pinch to warm water. Keep in mind that the spice is pungent. Any more than a pinch may be too much for you to handle.
In addition, turmeric tea bags also work. Steep turmeric tea with other types for a blend that’s unique for your taste buds.
If you want to supercharge your tea, try Turmeric Tea.
This organic powder blend contains matcha green tea and turmeric along with three other non-GMO superfoods. Boost your energy and metabolism with the dual power of matcha and turmeric.
Paint Your Diet Gold with Turmeric
Turmeric is enjoying the golden limelight as the newest superfood. From lattes to soups, it seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon – and for good reason.
As Mosley found out, a teaspoon of turmeric a day can help with pain and inflammation. Other studies found that turmeric may also have additional benefits. This could include better brain function and increased antioxidants.
Additionally, turmeric may have antiviral properties that may be even more beneficial. But of course, scientists need to conduct additional studies.
Until then, don’t forget your Turmeric Tea. Just one cup a day may help you live a more active lifestyle. It’s like liquid gold for your golden years.
If you need help with your diet, Opportuniteas is just a phone call away.
Book your free 15-minute consultation with one of our health coaches. We’ll help you figure out if turmeric is right for you.
|Scientific References: 5 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151449|