Turmeric and Weight Loss

Obesity is an increasing social and medical problem all over the world and refers to having too much body fat. However, it is not like being overweight which refers to weighing too much. A person maybe overweight because of extra muscle or bone or water retention in the body. Both result in a person having more than the recommended healthy body weight. This could cause a host of medical problems like osteoarthritis, gallstones, liver problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea etc.

Apart from eating too much, obesity can be caused by excess alcohol consumption, menopause, hypothyroidism, not exercising etc. The first step to fighting obesity or being overweight is to start a weight loss program. This includes following a strict diet, exercise and in some cases even surgery.  

Turmeric and Weight Loss

Fat burning is critical to weight loss. The liver is the organ that is essential for fat burning. Studies have found that when the liver gets damaged, detoxification process reduces. Turmeric can help detoxify the liver and protect cell damage caused due to environmental pollutants, attack from free radicals etc.  

High cholesterol causes plaque build up in arterial walls leading to coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, weight gain etc. Research has found that turmeric extracts can lower blood cholesterol levels – especially LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. It has lipid lowering properties. This can reduce cholesterol levels and benefit weight loss by reducing adipose tissue weight gain.  

Thermogenesis is a process that takes place when fat is burned by the central nervous system in order to maintain body temperature. Curcumin in turmeric can fasten to capsaicin receptors and increase thermogenesis rates. This leads to greater fat burning and helps with weight loss. 

In vitro and in vivo experiments or weight loss through angiogenesis – new blood vessel growth – and reducing fat content in fat cells have been conducted. Just like how tumors grow, adipose tissues which store fat cells require angiogenesis to provide the required nutrients and oxygen to adipocytes (fat cells), curcumin is said to have anti-angiogenic properties that could reduce fat mass and inhibit fat tissue growth therefore leading to weight loss in obese people.  turmeric for weight loss

The following research demonstrates the angiogenesis properties of turmeric that could stop fat tissue spread. Angiogenesis is required by the body to create fat tissue. 18 mice divided into 3 groups were fed special diets for 12 weeks. The control group was given a diet containing 4% fat, the ‘high fat’ group was given 22% fat and the last group was given the same ‘high fat’ diet combined with curcumin – around 1.5 – 1.75mg daily. At the end of the study period, the fat distribution and total weight gain were registered.

The group fed the high fat plus curcumin diet had reduced total body fat and weight gain compared to the group fed the high fat diet with no curcumin. The curcumin group also had lower triglycerides, fatty acid, blood glucose, liver fat and blood cholesterol levels. This demonstrates that turmeric may benefit weight loss programs. Research is required on the quantity of dietary turmeric that can help with weight loss.  

The various health problems that can be caused due to obesity have been enumerated. Curcumin is known to help reduce inflammation, therefore helping in reducing the risk of developing arthritis and heart problems. Turmeric could regulate lipid metabolism that is the main cause of obesity and attendant health issues. Studies are underway to find evidence about the role curcumin plays in down-regulating obesity and therefore lessening the impact of associated health problems.  

Turmeric also improves digestion, helps protect the liver etc. Hence obese people looking to lose weight may gain from including turmeric in their diet. However, turmeric must not be the only weight loss strategy for obese and overweight people, but part of a more comprehensive program.  

Dosage 

Turmeric is available as powder-filled capsules, fluids or tincture. The dosage depends on the medical condition. The daily dosage of standardized curcumin powder is 400-600mg thrice daily.   Studies on humans have found that 200mg curcumin a day can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.   For osteoarthritis, the dosage is 500mg two times a day of Meriva, Indena – a specific turmeric extract.  

Precautions

Turmeric is safe to consume as a food. We have to exercise caution when combining it with medications or supplements taken to slow down blood clotting. Turmeric supplements must be stopped two weeks prior to a surgery. It must not be consumed by diabetic patients, those with gallbladder problems and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always consult your doctor about the right dosage to consume for a specific medical condition. Taken in excess, turmeric supplements could cause nausea, diarrhea, indigestion or dizziness.  

One of the most important fact to be considered is that while turmeric as a spice is very safe but the same is not true when you take supplements. It is best to but good quality turmeric powder (organic if possible) and then use it rather than going for supplements. Also in case of any confusion consult your doctor. 

  • Lynda Padgett Jefferson

    When will I notice a difference in weight loss and in size ??

  • Pambytes

    “It must not be consumed by diabetic patients, those with gallbladder problems and pregnant and breastfeeding women.”

    Why shouldn’t diabetic patients take turmeric?

    • KeshavK

      Hi, these are general precautions mentioned by doctors for turmeric.

  • Jack H

    Should dosage of tumeric be relative to weight? If a100 pound person takes 1200 mg a day, should a 200 pound person take 2400? My Vitamin Shoppe brand of tumeric says to take one 300 mg capsule twice a day, but that just does not seem like it would be enough to acheive good results for my knee pain.

    • KeshavK

      Hi Jack, first of all I do not favor turmeric supplements much. Unless there is no other way. Turmeric should not be taken as medicine but included as part of life by including in your diet.

      Also, as far as research says there does not seem to be any suggestion based on weight.

      For more detail on dosages — http://www.turmericforhealth.com/general-info/ideal-turmeric-dosage-how-much-turmeric-can-you-take-in-a-day

      hope this helps

      • Jack H

        People taking tumeric supplement and getting good results are listed on several reviews, such as web md, or even amazon. If you have problems with tumeric as help to lots of common afflictions please list . From the feedback I have read of its users, it seems to be very beloved. I am using tumeric along with bromelain for my knee, and it seems to be working.

        • KeshavK

          Jack, there are several potential issues:
          1) Overdose is very easy
          2) You are just taking curcumin, turmeric is much more that curcumin. for example eating apple is not same as taking Vitamin A supplement. Apple is much more than that
          3) I recommend turmeric to be part of life and as a supplement it always remains as a medication
          4) You cannot control the quality of a supplement. It is much easier to do so with powder
          5) Supplement is much more expensive than powder.

          I am not saying users will not benefit, but I believe the above points make a strong case to take turmeric powder and not supplement.

          But again, if you wish you can always take supplements.

          Hope this helps.

  • Jennifer Thompson

    Love tumeric, and it can help with my weight. Too bad the research is not referenced.

    • KeshavK

      Hi Jennifer, the research is referenced. Just look out for the light brown words in the article. It will point to links.

  • Teresa Carol Tidwell

    I have used 2 tbsp. of organic Turmeric Spice every day for over 2 months now along with Diatomaceous Earth (DE). I have lost 20-30 lbs. over the course of four months (unintended consequence but very happy I did). I initially started using both due to high cholesterol (BAD cholesterol was 300 – high in February). As of May 6th of this year bad cholesterol was 210 which is well within the normal range.