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Is Turmeric Good For Weight Loss?

Is Turmeric Good For Weight Loss?

Apart from preventing fat accumulation, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation, turmeric increases thermogenesis in the body and supports diet-related weight loss efforts. It can turn white adipose tissues brown, just another way of burning fat.

Turmeric is a beloved spice of the Indian subcontinent. This gold-colored spice is truly priceless for it is not just used to add color and flavor to curries, it is a kitchen remedy for just about anything – from cold and cough to wound healing and even insect bites. An antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent, turmeric is also believed to have anticancer properties and can prevent and manage a number of metabolic diseases like diabetes, allergies, and Alzheimer’s.1 The credit mostly goes to curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, that gives it the lovely golden hue. Studies show that there is one more property that curcumin boasts of which is most likely to place it on top of the list of spices to love – curcumin makes turmeric good for weight loss.

Prevents Development Of Obesity And Aids Weight Loss

Isn’t this exactly what we wanted to hear? Curcumin doesn’t just stop you from being obese, it also supports you in shedding weight. Researchers claim they have enough evidence to suggest that curcumin regulates lipid metabolism, which plays a central role in the development of obesity.2 This is one of the reasons why turmeric finds mention in the ingredients list of certain weight loss products.3

If you are on a mission to shed a few pounds, you are probably already thinking of making some changes to your diet. Diet plays a huge role in healthy weight loss.4 Various spices and herbs in the diet play a key role in making it happen. Turmeric is one such spice found to be effective.5

Indigestible carbohydrates in food can improve obesity. Turmeric has plenty of them which give turmeric its potential to burn fat. Turmeric also has dietary fiber and resistant starch which support the weight-loss effort.6

Turmeric Can Turn White Adipose Tissues Brown

Studies show that curcumin in turmeric is effective in promoting angiogenesis that is necessary for the growth of adipose tissues.7 But why are we talking about creating adipose tissues, the tissues that store fat, here? Are we not looking for ways to lose fat? Well, that’s exactly where curcumin plays the savior. We know white adipose tissues that store fat. But research has shown that brown adipose tissues or BAT also exist in human bodies and that they are a therapeutic target for obesity.8 The main job of these brown adipose tissues is to transfer energy from food into heat. When the tissues are active, they burn high amounts of lipids and glucose.9 BAT is also a major site of thermogenesis or the production of heat in humans, another requirement for the body to burn fat.10

Thermogenesis plays an important role in weight reduction. Though white adipose tissues store fat for later use as energy, it can undergo browning and become an energy liberating source than a storing one.11 This is where curcumin helps. It can elevate the levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that aids the browning process of white adipose tissues.12

It Prevents Fat Accumulation

Curcumin also reduces fat accumulation in the body, especially the visceral fat or the fat around the vital organs in the body. A study done on rats has shown that turmeric is effective in reducing high-fat induced obesity as well as the adverse effects of oxidative stress.13 Turmeric, taken along with sulfur is another way to keep the fat from accumulating in the body and in reducing weight gain.14

Obesity in itself is bad enough. Add to it various other health complications like inflammations15 which are considered the root cause of many chronic ailments it can lead to. On the other hand, inflammation in the body can result in various metabolic disorders like obesity. Curcumin is effective in countering both, studies suggest. Curcumin directly interacts with adipocytes, pancreatic cells, hepatic stellate cells, macrophages, and muscle cells. There, it suppresses actions that lead to obesity. Curcumin is also found to be effective in preventing various obesity-related ailments of the heart, kidney, liver, etc.16

Prevents Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is one of the health conditions that is very prevalent these days. It is characterized by a constellation of major risk factors for chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is marked by reduced HDL cholesterol, raised triglycerides, increased blood pressure and plasma glucose, all of which are contributing factors to obesity.17 Studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to prevent metabolic syndrome and metabolic syndrome-related obesity.18

There shouldn’t be any doubt in your mind that turmeric fights obesity and helps in weight reduction. Do you need any further reasons to include this lovely spice in your daily diet?

References   [ + ]

1. Aggarwal, Bharat B., Chitra Sundaram, Nikita Malani, and Haruyo Ichikawa. “Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.” In The molecular targets and therapeutic uses of curcumin in health and disease, pp. 1-75. Springer US, 2007.
2. Alappat, Lini, and Atif B. Awad. “Curcumin and obesity: evidence and mechanisms.” Nutrition reviews 68, no. 12 (2010): 729-738.
3. Kuhrts, Eric H. “Methods and compositions for producing weight loss.” U.S. Patent 6,475,530, issued November 5, 2002.
4. Strychar, Irene. “Diet in the management of weight loss.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 174, no. 1 (2006): 56-63.
5. Koithan, Mary, and Kathryn Niemeyer. “Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight.” The journal for nurse practitioners: JNP6, no. 2 (2010): 153.
6. Han, Kyu-Ho, Chang-Hyun Lee, Mikio Kinoshita, Chan-Ho Oh, Ken-ichiro Shimada, and Michihiro Fukushima. “Spent turmeric reduces fat mass in rats fed a high-fat diet.” Food & function 7, no. 4 (2016): 1814-1824.
7. Ejaz, Asma, Dayong Wu, Paul Kwan, and Mohsen Meydani. “Curcumin inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and angiogenesis and obesity in C57/BL mice.” The Journal of nutrition 139, no. 5 (2009): 919-925.
8, 11. Sidossis, Labros S., Craig Porter, Manish K. Saraf, Elisabet Børsheim, Ravi S. Radhakrishnan, Tony Chao, Arham Ali et al. “Browning of subcutaneous white adipose tissue in humans after severe adrenergic stress.” Cell metabolism 22, no. 2 (2015): 219-227.
9. Cannon, Barbara, and J. A. N. Nedergaard. “Brown adipose tissue: function and physiological significance.” Physiological reviews 84, no. 1 (2004): 277-359.
10. Poekes, Laurence, Nicolas Lanthier, and Isabelle A. Leclercq. “Brown adipose tissue: a potential target in the fight against obesity and the metabolic syndrome.” Clinical Science 129, no. 11 (2015): 933-949.
12. Wang, Shan, Xiuchao Wang, Zichen Ye, Chengming Xu, Ming Zhang, Banjun Ruan, Ming Wei et al. “Curcumin promotes browning of white adipose tissue in a norepinephrine-dependent way.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 466, no. 2 (2015): 247-253.
13. Lee, Chi-Ho, Ah-Young Kim, Chang-Won Pyun, Michihiro Fukushima, and Kyu-Ho Han. “Turmeric (Curcuma longa) whole powder reduces accumulation of visceral fat mass and increases hepatic oxidative stress in rats fed a high-fat diet.” Food Science and Biotechnology 23, no. 1 (2014): 261-267.
14. Kim, Jin-Gyu, Prabhat Kumar Mandal, Kang-Duk Choi, Chang-Won Pyun, Go-Eun Hong, and Chi-Ho Lee. “Beneficial dietary effect of turmeric and sulphur on weight gain, fat deposition and lipid profile of serum and liver in rats.” Journal of food science and technology 51, no. 4 (2014): 774-779.
15. Castro, A. M., L. E. Macedo-de la Concha, and C. A. Pantoja-Meléndez. “Low-grade inflammation and its relation to obesity and chronic degenerative diseases.” Revista Médica del Hospital General de México 80, no. 2 (2017): 101-105.
16. Aggarwal, Bharat B. “Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals.” Annual review of nutrition 30 (2010): 173-199.
17. Han, Thang S., and Mike EJ Lean. “A clinical perspective of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.” JRSM cardiovascular disease 5 (2016): 2048004016633371.
18. Di Pierro, F., A. Bressan, D. Ranaldi, G. Rapacioli, L. Giacomelli, and A. Bertuccioli. “Potential role of bioavailable curcumin in weight loss and omental adipose tissue decrease: preliminary data of a randomized, controlled trial in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. Preliminary study.” Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 19, no. 21 (2015): 4195-4202.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.