Monday, May 4, 2009

Curcumin and the Fight Against Obesity

The Journal of Nutrition reports that curcumin, the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric its yellow color, may prevent and reduce body weight gain. This new data comes from a study with mice -- mice fed a high-fat diet and supplemented with curcumin were found to have reduced body weight gain, as well as lowered blood cholesterol levels.

“The curcumin suppression of angiogenesis in adipose tissue together with its effect on lipid metabolism in adipocytes may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain,” wrote the authors, of which Asma Ejaz at Tufts University was the lead author. “Our findings suggest that dietary curcumin may have a potential benefit in preventing obesity.”

With 62 per cent of Americans already in the overweight category, there is a huge and growing market for all things that promise weight reduction.

Curcumin was also associated with significantly lower cholesterol levels and a reduction in the expression of a protein that plays a role in metabolic functions. This ancient spice ingredient may have a new role to play in the future of weight management and overall health.


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