WHAT IS TURMERIC?

Though turmeric looks similar to ginger root in its organic form, most will have encountered it as a spectacularly coloured powder, widely used within Indian cuisine.

WHY IS TURMERIC SUDDENLY EVERYWHERE?

The popularity of this spice took off a year ago, thanks to BBC 2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor, recent studies and the rise in use in cuisine. Many health benefits also skyrocketed its super spice status in its promise of extensive health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.

BUT DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?

The benefits of turmeric are extensive, it helps to maintain the health of joints and bones, and is a powerful antioxidant.

THE TURMERIC DEBATE

While there is no debate over the many health benefits of turmeric, the experts do question how best to take for optimum benefits. According to Dr Moseley, turmeric is better absorbed when eaten with fats or with black pepper. There are two problems with this:

1. A substantial amount has to be eaten in order to maximise its potential.

2. The inclusion of black pepper in a supplement can interfere with certain prescription medications.



WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CONSIDER?

Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and Medical Director at Healthspan says, ‘When normal powdered turmeric is consumed, as little as 1% of the active component,curcumin, is absorbed whole into the circulation, whether it’s taken in supplement or food form.

Unfortunately, the use of black pepper as part of a turmeric supplement can be of risk to the older population who use other products or prescribed medicines.

Studies that compared the absorption of turmeric when taken in three different forms, found that one of these forms, known as liquid micelles, was an effective method of boosting curcumin absorption. This form of turmeric was 185 times better absorbed than turmeric in its powdered form, which would have been used by Dr Moseley in his study of turmeric.

According to Dr. Brewer, liquid micelles are the key component for a winning supplement. ‘Supplements that provide turmeric in the form of liquid nano –micelles are far better absorbed than turmeric in powdered form. These are the ones I choose to take, in conjuction with including turmeric in my diet.

Turmeric

How to get the most from turmeric

Fork

Consume within foods, with fats - A tasty way to consume is within Indian cuisine. You will have to consume a large amount of turmeric regularly to reap the benefits.

Pepper

Consume a supplement combined with black pepper. Black pepper has been shown to help the absorption of turmeric, however, check with your doctor if taking prescribed medicine.

Liquid

Taking supplements containing liquid turmeric. Latest studies show liquid turmeric capsules are the most convenient and easily absorbed solution, suitable for all.

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