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Lose weight a spoonful at a time with turmeric

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Could this Indian spice speed up weight loss?

If you are dieting for weight loss and reached a plateau, you might want to consider giving your metabolism a boost with turmeric. The Indian spice is not just tasty. Curcumin in turmeric has multiple proven health benefits. How might turmeric help with weight loss?


Curcumin in turmeric helps the body fight inflammation. When we gain weight we are at risk for a variety of disease including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and insulin resistance that makes it harder to lose weight.

Mouse studies show curcumin in turmeric prevents the growth of fat tissue. Researchers at Tufts University fed mice a high fat diet for twelve weeks. One group of mice were given 500mg/kg. of curcumin and the other were just given high fat foods.

The researchers found curcumin prevented weight gain.

Mohsen Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Vascular Biology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA explained curcumin stopped new blood vessels from growing that make fat spread. The mice also had lower cholesterol and less liver fat.

The researchers were cautious in saying more studies are needed to know for certain if curcumin has the same effect in humans.

Adding a spoonful of turmeric to healthy soup is a safe and easy way to obtain the potential health benefits of curcumin. You might also enjoy turmeric tea that is a popular beverage in Asia and known as "liquid gold". Another way to enjoy the spice is to sprinkle it on your popcorn or add it to scrambled eggs.

Dr. Meydani doesn't suggest his study is conclusive, but he did admit to using more of the spice in his own household in a February, 2016 Tufts Journal media release.

If you cook with turmeric, use pepper to increase the absorption.

Warning For Turmeric Consumption

You should limit turmeric consumption if:

  • Pregnant
  • Have gallstones
  • Have a history of kidney stones.

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Turmeric for prediabetes and diabetes weight loss

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Anyone with diabetes knows the importance of losing weight. Type 2 diabetes affects the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, making it difficult to lose weight.

Repeated studies show diabetes impairs the body's ability to continue to burn fat after a modest amount of weight reduction. Weight loss efforts can reach a plateau without further calorie restriction.

More calorie restriction leads to more hunger, which causes many people with diabetes to regain lost weight. The cycle can seem never ending for some.

A 2012 study showed curcumin in turmeric boosted insulin sensitivity in mice by blocking signaling pathways that lead to weight gain and obesity. The finding was published in the journal PLOS ONE

Curcumin could also prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

Another study, conducted in rats, showed the turmeric compound helped regenerate pancreas cells in type 1 diabetes.

If you are trying to find a little something extra to help with your weight loss goals, consider simply adding turmeric to your diet. There is still more to discover about the health benefit of turmeric. Research suggests the spice could help with weight loss, protect you from heart disease, ease pain and more.

Related: Turmeric as good as some prescription medicines for health

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