Reducing inflammation with Turmeric

Turmeric supplementation has been very popular over the past few years, with interest in it’s anti-inflammatory properties sky-rocketing. What is the best way to take turmeric? Can you just start eating more of the spice? The answer is …… it depends! Turmeric is a wonderful addition to cooking, but as a spice it is very poorly absorbed. Usually it requires a fat and pepper to enhance it’s absorption, such as it’s traditional use in curries. The amount required for stronger anti-inflammatory effects, however, is usually much higher than can be achieved through cooking – and this is when a supplement may be beneficial.

When choosing a turmeric supplement, it is important to consider how the product has been formulated. There are a dizzying number of turmeric supplements, all sprouting different benefits on their packets. Whole spice extract, curcumin (highly active part of turmeric), black pepper, phospholipid – these are all words you may encounter. It can be very confusing to select a turmeric product when given all the options.

To help in selecting a turmeric capsule, I would advise to talk to someone who is familiar with the products to assist you, as many contain clinically trialled extracts of turmeric and may be superior to other formulations. Many good turmeric supplements don’t require black pepper for it to be effective, as the turmeric powder can be formulated in a way that allows passage of the turmeric into the body. Some have ground the curcumin powder into tiny particles and carry it in a fat base to aid its absorption.

There is promising research for the use of turmeric for a wide range of conditions, but the dosage may differ depending on what effect you’re trying to achieve. It is important to consult your pharmacist or doctor on the use of turmeric with other medications and the best option for your specific circumstances.

Jacqui Hagidimitriou

Natural Medicines Pharmacist

TerryWhite Chemmart Samford

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