Turmeric has long been thought to have considerable benefits for our health but now there seems to be more credibility to this claim.
Turmeric in its raw form is an orangey yellow powder that is known to those who eat curries and similar food as it is used considerably in Asian food.
Turmeric is made up of over 200 compounds but it is just one, curcumin, that is of recent interest to scientists. Put simply, curcumin seems to have the ability to reduce DNA methylation in cancer cells and can reduce or stop their activity.
But there is a further interesting development. In recent trials three groups were tested. One was a placebo, one group took a turmeric supplement in the form of a capsule of powdered turmeric, and the third group used turmeric in their cooking.
The DNA methylation patterns of the volunteers’ blood cells were tested before and after the trials and both the placebo group and the supplement group showed no change. Only the group who cooked with turmeric showed changes for the better.
The deduction is that adding fat or heating turmeric makes the active ingredients more soluble, making it easier for us to absorb the curcumin.
As with all trials, further work needs to be done but maybe now is the time to start adding turmeric to more than the occasional curry.