GERD Home > Does Curcumin Work?

People who are considering using the supplement medicinally may wonder if curcumin works. Studies have shown that curcumin may help to treat dyspepsia (indigestion and heartburn), colorectal cancer, and skin cancer. Studies have also indicated that curcumin may work treat rheumatoid arthritis and lower cholesterol. However, much more research is necessary to validate these claims.

Does Curcumin Work? -- An Overview

In the United States, curcumin is regulated as a dietary supplement or food (in the form of turmeric). As such, it can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that it is either safe or effective. Like most supplements, curcumin is claimed to be useful for a wide variety of health benefits, usually without much reliable scientific evidence. Some people may use curcumin for the following conditions:

Does Curcumin Work for High Cholesterol?

Animal studies have suggested that curcumin may be effective at lowering cholesterol. However, human studies have failed to show any benefit. In fact, one study suggested that curcumin may actually increase cholesterol in humans. Until more information becomes available, curcumin should not be recommended as a treatment for high cholesterol.

Does Curcumin Work for Indigestion or Heartburn?

One study has shown that turmeric, which contains curcumin, is effective at treating dyspepsia, the medical term for indigestion and heartburn. However, more research is necessary to confirm these findings.

Does Curcumin Work for Cancer?

There is some early evidence that turmeric (which contains curcumin) may be beneficial for people who have colorectal cancer that has not responded to traditional treatments. There is also some evidence that applying turmeric to the skin may help relieve some of the symptoms of skin cancer, such as itching. However, curcumin should not be expected to cure or even significantly improve cancer.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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