Curcumin and Turmeric: A Closer Look at their Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant Properties

Curcumin and Turmeric Reduce Systemic Inflammatory Markers


“Curcumin” is the naturally occurring polyphenol found in “turmeric” and is postulated to have important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects and well as have important effects on metabolic functions including effects on lipids.

I’ve been interested in understanding the potential role of turmeric and curcumin for some type of hair issues simply because many of the hair disorders I treat are inflammatory and oxidant based problems. Given that many scarring alopecias arise from issues in lipid and metabolic pathways, I have been interested in understanding if turmeric too might have a role here.

Good research studies of turmeric and curcumin are quite rare. A recent study by Adibian and colleagues further supported an anti inflammatory role. The authors studies the potential effects of curcumin in patients with diabetes. The authors conducted a double-blind randomized clinical trial of 44 patients with type 2 diabetes and they were randomly assigned to curcumin or placebo for 10 weeks. Patients consumed either 1,500-mg curcumin or placebo daily for 10 weeks.

The antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric and curcumin are increasingly catching the attention of the research community.

The antiinflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric and curcumin are increasingly catching the attention of the research community.

 

Curcumin Reduces C-reative Protein (CRP) Levels

Results showed that the mean serum level of triglycerides decreased in curcumin group compared with baseline (109 vs. 124, p < 0.05). In addition, the mean concentration of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (“CRP”) decreased in the curcumin group compared to the control (2.9  vs. 3.4 p < 0.05). Although this study should only be classified as preliminary, these results support continued research into the anti inflammatory and metabolic effects of curcumin - at least at high doses.

1500 mg of curcumin as used in this study is hard to get in the diet and the amount of turmeric this would require from turmeric powder is enormous. For this reason, supplements with curcumin or turmeric are frequently used. 1 tablespoon of turmeric has about 200-500 mg curcumin although some sources may have a bit less.



Reference 

Adibian M et al. Phytother Res. 2019 Mar 12


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887



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