Could Curcumin Benefit Gut Diversity and Prevent Post-Menopausal Weight Gain?

Curcumin and Weight GainAccording to a new study on rats, Curcumin may aid in reversing decreases in the diversity of gut bacteria after an ovariectomy (OVX) which may prevent weight gain often seen in post-menopausal women.

The study lasted 12 weeks.  Rats were split into three groups: rats having undergone an ovariectomy and fed distilled water (OVX); a control group of rats who underwent a sham operation (SHAM); rats having undergone an ovariectomy and given Curcumin (CUR).  The OVX group showed reduced gut bacterial diversity when compared with the SHAM group.  The CUR group however, displayed significantly different amounts of seven bacterial strains when compared with the OVX group.  Rats in the OVX group also showed a significant weight gain when compared to the control group (SHAM).  The CUR Group however, did not experience this weight gain.  No estrogenic effects were seen in the group supplementing with the Curcumin (CUR) since it did not prevent reductions in serum estradiol levels or uterine weight loss.

OVX rats showed a higher ratio of phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the gut when compared with the control group.  These specific bacterial strains have been observed to lead to overweight rats and have also been associated with obesity in humans.  An additional benefit of Curcumin supplementation was a reduction in the bacteria Anaerotruncus, which has been associated with age-related macular degeneration and pre-natal stress.  Researchers also found Curcumin reduced the amount of Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for certain stomach ulcers.

Curcumin is the phyto nutrient found in turmeric.  It is a powerful antioxidant and has been show to support cardiovascular health as well as joint health in addition to a host of other promising impactful health promoting mechanisms.

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Curcumin Touted For Metabolic Benefits in People with Fatty Liver Disease

LiverA new study suggests daily supplementation with Curcumin (Turmeric) might improve Body Mass Index (BMI), metabolic status and liver biomarkers in people with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

87 people with grades 1-3 NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) participated in this randomized controlled clinical study.  The study lasted 8 weeks.  Participants were assigned randomly to receive either a 1,000 mg daily dosage (divided into 2 doses) of Curcumin or a placebo.  Researchers found a statistically significant reduction in BMI, .99 points in the group supplementing with Curcumin compared to .15 points in the group taking the placebo.  Additionally waist circumference decreased by 1.74 for those taking the Curcumin compared to a reduction of .23 in the group supplementing with the placebo.  Also, Ultrasonographic findings were improved in 75% of the participants in the Curcumin group compared to an improvement in 4.5% of the placebo group.  Curcumin was also associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol and uric acid levels.

NAFLD is the most common type of chronic liver disorders and affects approximately 30% of the population and between 60 – 70% of individuals who have diabetes or who are obese.

Further studies are needed.

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Curcumin Supplementation Shows Benefits For People With Severe Depression

Curcumin and DepressionA new study has found that daily supplementation with Curcumin may be effective in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms in people with major depressive disorders.

Over 100 people participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study.  All the participants had major depressive disorder.  Participants were given one of four treatment conditions: A placebo, a low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG), a high dose Curcumin Extract (500 MG), or a combined saffron (15 MG) plus low-dose Curcumin Extract (250 MG).  The study lasted 12 weeks.  The Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-rated version (IDS-SR30) and the Speilberger State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure results.

Participants supplementing with any form of the Curcumin Extract saw considerable improvements when compared to the placebo group.  No differences were seen between the different doses of Curcumin Extract or the combination of the Curcumin/Saffron.

Researchers believe that larger studies are needed.  They also believe the treatment duration needs to be longer.

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