GERD Home > How Much Research Has Been Done on Turmeric?
Turmeric Clinical Studies
Animal studies have suggested that curcumin (one of the active compounds in turmeric) may be effective at lowering cholesterol. However, human studies have failed to show any benefit. In fact, one study suggested that curcumin might actually increase cholesterol in humans. Until more information becomes available, turmeric should not be recommended as a high cholesterol treatment.
One study has shown that turmeric is effective at treating indigestion and heartburn. However, more research is necessary to confirm these findings.
There is very early evidence that turmeric may be beneficial for people with colorectal cancer who have 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). Turmeric should not be expected to cure or even significantly improve cancer.
Very early evidence suggests that curcumin (one of the components of turmeric) may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. However, much more research is necessary before it can be established whether turmeric really works (or does not work) for rheumatoid arthritis.
There is not enough evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of turmeric for depression treatment or for any other use.
Final Thoughts on Turmeric Effectiveness
Turmeric has been studied very little. It is not really known if turmeric works (or is safe) for any use, although very early research is promising in several areas. If you are interested in using turmeric, it is a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed April 2, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: turmeric (March 2007). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/. Accessed April 2, 2008.
Baum L, Cheung SK, Mok VC, et al. Curcumin effects on blood lipid profile in a 6-month human study. Pharmacol Res 2007;56(6):509-14.
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