If Johnnie Cochran were alive today, he may have put it this way, Weight loss in a hurry? Better eat your curry!

A Tufts University study has found that curcumin, a polyphenol found in turmeric, has shown promise as a weight loss aid...in mice.

The study showed that mice fed high fat diets supplemented with curcumin, reduced weight gain and suppressed the growth of fat tissue in mice and cell models.

Here are a few details from the study

  * There were two groups of mice: one non-curcumin group, and one group supplemented with 500mg of curcumin/kg.
  * Both groups of mice consumed the same amount of food (indicating no appetite-suppressing effect of curcumin), but the curcumin group did not gain as much weight as the non-curcumin group.
  * Lower levels of blood cholesterol, and liver fat were found in the curcumin group.
  * Curcumin appeared to interfere with expression of two genes, which contributed to angiogenesis progression in both cell and rodent models.

Senior author Mohsen Meydani, stated:

Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic (blood vessel formation - in this case fat cell blood vessels) activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets...It is important to note, we don't know whether these results can be replicated in humans because, to our knowledge, no studies have been done.

Additional Thoughts

500mg per kg of body weight is an insane amount of curcumin! And, if curcumin consumption did have an effect on body composition, at best it would be a minor one.

But, even if curcumin has no effect whatsoever on humans, curcumin-containing foods are very healthy in other ways. Research actually supports the use of turmeric (and henceforth curcumin) as:

  * A potent anti-inflammatory
  * Cancer cell inhibitor
  * A blood lipid regulator
  * A protector against Alzheimer's disease
  * A possible aid to cystic fibrosis sufferers
  * And an excellent source of manganese and iron

Final words: Eat healthfully, exercise and consider adding spices such as curry to your culinary repertoire.


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