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Why Your Patients Need Full-Spectrum Turmeric

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Why Your Patients Need Full-Spectrum Turmeric
By Mia Iyer, DC

Is there anything that turmeric, that golden fairy dust, can’t do?! It is a pleiotropic, multifaceted botanical that does so much to reduce inflammation in the body.

So far, research has emphasized one turmeric component: curcumin. This ingredient is often touted as a star phytonutrient, with more than 3,000 preclinical studies highlighting its benefits. With all these trials, curcumin has gained a credible reputation of mitigating inflammation and preventing diseases. But one of the biggest conundrums of curcumin is bioavailability, and some delivery systems, like liposomes and phytosomes, intentionally move curcumin past the gut to increase its bioavailability.

New research is bringing a new perspective to the curcumin bioavailability conversation. Evidence now indicates that we should be re-evaluating how botanicals interact in the body and not focus solely on bioavailability. In the case of turmeric, there is a paradigm shift that curcumin’s bioavailability issue might be inconsequential because it is meant to interact with the gut and the microbiota. Furthermore, the combination of curcumin and non-curcuminoid compounds found in turmeric increases the efficacy of all the nutrients.

This paradigm shift comes from the fact that turmeric has so many non-curcuminoid compounds that have benefits of their own. To name a few, turmeric root contains turmeric oils, turmeric proteins, polysaccharides, and fibers that all have a say when it comes to influencing physiology in the body.1 Its anti-inflammatory capacity begins in the gut where the components interact with each layer of the intestines.2 As a master switch of inflammation, turmeric can increase intestinal alkaline phosphatase activity in the gut, which nullifies the effects of LPS. It can also bind to portions of innate immune cell receptors, including toll-like receptors, and simmer the effects of endotoxin-induced inflammation. Some studies have even investigated whole turmeric extracts and its ability as a prebiotic.2,3 The study found that these turmeric extracts were digested by the commensal bacteria and promoted the growth of the bacteria in the gut.3

The point is, harnessing the benefits of one compound from a botanical might not be the best way to go. Rather than pushing more of one component into the body, we need to look at efficacy at a lower dose. Botanicals like turmeric have much more to offer than just one component and by choosing the complete matrix of these botanicals, we can provide our patients an effective formula that will make a difference in their health.

Learn more about Turmeric resarch

Turmeric Smoothie Recipe

1 Ghosh, Siddhartha S., et al. “Curcumin-Mediated Regulation of Intestinal Barrier Function: The Mechanism Underlying Its Beneficial Effects.” Tissue Barriers, vol. 6, no. 1, 2 Jan. 2018, p. e1425085, 10.1080/21688370.2018.1425085. Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.

2 Zam, Wissam. “Gut Microbiota as a Prospective Therapeutic Target for Curcumin: A Review of Mutual Influence.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 2018, 16 Dec. 2018, pp. 1–11, 10.1155/2018/1367984.

3 Ghiamati Yazdi, Fariba, et al. “Turmeric Extract: Potential Use as a Prebiotic and Anti-Inflammatory Compound?” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, vol. 74, no. 3, 16 May 2019, pp. 293–299, 10.1007/s11130-019-00733-x.

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Mia Iyer, DC

Mia Iyer, DC is a Board-Certified Chiropractic physician who received her doctorate from National University of Health Sciences. With a passion for research, she focused her clinical rotations on publishing relevant peer reviewed journal article(s). Working in an integrated healthcare clinic, Dr. Iyer has successfully treated her patient population using an integrative approach, utilizing multiple evidence-based modalities addressing the root of the illness. Her continued passion for research and integrative lifestyle medicine opened doors to the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center where she currently holds the position of Immune Foundations Brand Manager.

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