Study finds curcumin unlikely to boost health

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A new report has found curcumin, a compound in the spice turmeric, has little to no therapeutic benefit despite widespread belief to the contrary.

Curcumin has been hailed for years as a natural treatment for a variety of health conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Since the early 1990's, the consensus in the scientific community was that curcumin, which makes up 3 to 5 percent of turmeric, was responsible for its health-boosting abilities.

In this new report, researchers from the American Chemical Society reviewed thousands of previous articles on curcumin and found evidence that curcumin is unstable under physiological conditions and not readily absorbed by the body.

The team, led by Michael A. Walters and Guido F. Pauli, found no evidence of a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on curcumin to support the claims its a cure for disease.

Researchers stated that turmeric extracts and preparations may have some health benefits but not for the amount of conditions under the current claims. They are calling on more research to be done as to any health benefits of turmeric and that future studies take a more holistic approach in its claims of health benefits.

The report was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Amy Wallace

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