The Skinny on Turmeric

What the heck… Turmeric?

Turmeric is rising in popularity.  You know that bright and deep yellow spice?  It’s a traditional tuber-derived spice from India that has an earthy-bright flavor, and contains a component called Curcumin.  For the past 10+ years it’s been touted as a cure for inflammation, but more recently has been amounting evidence for it’s use in obesity and weight loss.

It’s not all the same.

Much of the evidence that uses Turmeric uses highly bioavailable forms — so what does that mean?  Well, the active part of Turmeric, Curcumin, is resinous–meaning it doesn’t dissolve well in water.  This means you’re likely to reap more benefit if you have it in a form that is dissolved in fat/oil.  Having the raw spice won’t do a lot if you have it without food, but taking it with a fatty meal or some extra fat/oil for it to dissolve in will help your body absorb it. Turns out that cooking with the spice is even healthier when you cook it with fat (the combination of heat and oil), and even adding in some black or white pepper may increase its effectiveness even more!

Turmeric and Weight Loss

Now… does it really help with weight loss?  The answer is yes.  It’s very likely that Turmeric/Curcumin can help along side healthy habits in an attempt to treat obesity.  Turns out it does some very interesting things with the signaling of fat cells that can help with weight loss and even preventing/reversing fatty liver!(1)  Furthermore, a meta-analysis showed that Turmeric was effective in reducing BMI, Weight and Waist Circumference. (2)


So even though we’ve known for a long time that it’s good for inflammation, it seems like it’s good for a lot more than that.  This is all very promising information about treating Metabolic syndrome, Obesity, and even Diabetes with something as simple s a spice.  There’s always more to it than that, but it certainly won’t hurt to start cooking with it yourself, or scavenging our blog for Dr. Marcoux’s recipe for Golden Milk (here:

By: Dr. Kahlen Pihowich, ND

  1. Aggarwal BB. Targeting inflammation-induced obesity and metabolic diseases by curcumin and other nutraceuticals. Annual review of nutrition 2010;30:173-99.
  2. Akbari M, Lankarani KB, Tabrizi R, Ghayour-Mobarhan M, Peymani P, Ferns G, Ghaderi A, Asemi Z. The Effects of Curcumin on Weight Loss Among Patients With Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Frontiers in pharmacology 2019;10:649.

2 thoughts on “The Skinny on Turmeric

    1. Dr. Pihowich, ND says:

      I would say a teaspoon or less is effective for health benefits, and more isn’t always better. I can’t comment on exact dosing, as it requires monitoring and follow-up to ensure it’s done safely. That being said – I believe turmeric to be quite safe.


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