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Turmeric and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Curcumin and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

There has been a great deal made of Turmeric lately.  If you believed all the hype eating Turmeric will give you ever lasting youth and vitality.  As you can imagine that's not supported by data.  There are some measurable positive health effects attributable to Turmeric or to be precise curcumin. 

Curcumin is a polyphenol.  Polyphenol's are the chemicals that give highly coloured plants their colour and tend to be good anti-oxidants.

Back to turmeric.  A review by the Cochrane found one study that showed a significant improvement in patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) both by clinical and endoscopic measures over a six month period.  The important thing to note here is that the patients in both placebo and test were also stable on regular therapy for UC.  

Some important things to note:

  • Curcumin affects the metabolism of blood thinners like warfarin.  Check with your Pharmacist first before taking.
  • Dose is important.  You need around 2g a day or about 3 capsules a day.


Interestingly extracts from black pepper (piperine) slows down the metabolism of curcumin by the liver, so maintains blood levels for longer.