Does Turmeric Reduce Inflammation?

Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Benefits of Kefir

Check out this answer from Consensus:

Kefir is a versatile and nutritious fermented beverage with a wide range of health benefits. Its positive effects on digestive health, antimicrobial properties, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, cardiovascular health, glycemic control, anti-carcinogenic potential, and weight management make it a valuable addition to a healthy diet. While more clinical trials are needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these benefits, the existing evidence strongly supports the inclusion of kefir in daily nutrition for overall health and well-being.


Kefir, a fermented milk beverage, has garnered significant attention in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. Originating from the Caucasus Mountains and Tibet, kefir is produced by fermenting milk with kefir grains, which are a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. This article explores the various health benefits of kefir, supported by scientific research.

Nutritional and Microbiological Composition

Kefir’s nutritional composition varies based on the type of milk used, the microbiological composition of the grains, and the fermentation conditions. It contains a complex mixture of bacteria and yeasts that contribute to its health-promoting properties. The primary bioactive compounds in kefir include exopolysaccharides, bioactive peptides, and organic acids such as lactic acid1 3.

Digestive Health

One of the most well-documented benefits of kefir is its positive impact on digestive health. Regular consumption of kefir has been associated with improved digestion and increased tolerance to lactose. The probiotics in kefir help maintain a healthy gut microbiota, which is crucial for overall digestive health1 5 8.

Antimicrobial and Antibacterial Effects

Kefir exhibits significant antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. The bioactive compounds in kefir, such as lactic acid and bacteriocins, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and pathogens. This makes kefir an effective natural remedy for preventing infections and promoting gut health1 2 3 8.

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties

Kefir has been shown to possess strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties help reduce inflammation in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic diseases. The antioxidants in kefir neutralize free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of oxidative damage2 4 5.

Cardiovascular Health

Kefir consumption has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that kefir can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. The anti-hypertensive and hypocholesterolemic effects of kefir contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system and lower the risk of heart disease1 2 4 6.

Glycemic Control

Kefir has potential benefits for glycemic control, making it a valuable dietary addition for individuals with diabetes. Research indicates that kefir can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This is particularly important for managing diabetes and preventing complications associated with high blood sugar levels6 7.

Anti-carcinogenic and Anti-tumor Effects

Emerging evidence suggests that kefir may have anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor properties. The bioactive compounds in kefir can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the risk of tumor development. These effects are attributed to the modulation of immune responses and the inhibition of carcinogenic pathways1 2 3 9.

Weight Management

Kefir may also play a role in weight management. Studies have shown that kefir can inhibit adipocyte differentiation and lipid accumulation, which are key factors in obesity. The anti-adipogenic effects of kefir are mediated through the down-regulation of adipogenic transcription factors, making it a potential dietary intervention for weight control10.


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz has answered Extremely Unlikely

An expert from University of Wollongong in Epidemiology, Public Health, Diabetes

As has been noted a number of times, there is good evidence of reasonable certainty that curcumin, a compound that is present in turmeric, has some anti-inflammatory properties. There is some debate that this is true, but overall it’s likely to improve inflammation in some way.

The issue is, how much curcumin? And does that mean that turmeric does, itself, reduce inflammation?

By weight, turmeric is made up of about 3% curcumin. An active dose – the amount needed to see a benefit in people – of curcumin varies, but is usually somewhere between 200-1,000 milligrams per day. So, to get the amount of turmeric that you’d need to eat to get an active dose of curcumin, you multiply by 33, making an active dose of turmeric about 6-30 grams per day. However, there’s another problem – curcumin isn’t very bioavailable, which means your body only absorbs about 25% of the curcumin from the turmeric that you eat. So we have to take our number and multiply by 4, which means that the lowest amount of turmeric you’d have to eat to get an active dose of curcumin is 24 grams a day, which is about the size of a supermarket jar of the dried powder. This low estimate is also a bit misleading, because studies that use these low doses of curcumin usually have formulated a special supplement that is more bioavailable, which is very different to just eating turmeric.

This is a problem – curcumin may reduce inflammation, in sufficient doses, but eating 24-120 grams a day of turmeric is a bit of a different question. Overall, it’s unlikely that turmeric reduces inflammation as part of most people’s diets, unless they are eating truly vast quantities of the spice.


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Zorica Stojanović-Radić has answered Near Certain

An expert from University of Niš in Microbiology, Biology, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutics, Botany

Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) represents a plant species belonging to family Zingiberaceae. Its rhizomes in powdered form are used as a food ingredients as spices, as well as in traditional therapy due to many biological activities. In herbal and traditional medicine, turmeric is used for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections and liver ailments, strengthening the overall energy of the body, dispelling worms, regulating menstruation, dissolving gall-stones, cleansing wounds, and for various digestive disorders. Turmeric contains various chemical compounds in its chemical composition, but curcumin represents the most important one, present in high amount (3%) and responsible for various biological activities of turmeric powder.

Along with many other scientifically proven biological activities, anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin (thus, turmeric as well) was investigated and confirmed in many clinical trials on humans. These studies confirmed remarkable potential of this compound to reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, various metabolic diseases as well as post-operative conditions. The effects after oral administration of curcumin in different doses (200-2000 mg/day), formulations (C3 complex, Meriva, NR-INF-02 or mixture with other plant extracts) and time of administration (2 weeks to 6 months) were monitored through various symptom scales and/or inflammatory and stress markers. In all studies, curcumin was applied orally in the form of mentioned formulations, which mostly included piperine to enhance bioavaliability of curcumin (which is generally very low).

Generally, the results obtained in all these studies highly support application of curcumin for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions.  

However, one should have in mind that if curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric and is present up to 3% in this plant, while active doses ranged up to 2 g of curcumin, a very high amount of turmeric powder should be taken daily (66 g of turmeric powder) to get the same results, but with piperine to improve its absorption in the gut. Therefore, the best results will be achieved by taking some commercially available curcuminoid preparation.


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Cornelie Nienaber-Rousseau has answered Likely

An expert from North-West University in Nutrition

Turmeric is a spice from the root of Curcuma longa in the ginger family. Extracted turmeric is a yellow crystalline powder, practically insoluble in water, but soluble in fats and ethanol. It is often used alone or mixed with other spices to form curry powder to season and or color food or even fabrics. Mustard sauces usually contain turmeric to enhance flavor and to deepen the yellow color. Consuming 1 g or more per day is considered high, because it is higher than what most people obtain from diet alone. Approximately 2–6% of turmeric powder is curcuminoids, containing mostly curcumin. Curcumin is a polyphenol and is considered to be turmeric’s active ingredient. Turmeric/curcumin is associated with various health benefits including having an anti-inflammatory effect.

In a summary of studies (a systematic review with meta-analysis), curcuminoids was shown to reduce the inflammatory marker, circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations (Sahebkar, 2014). This lowering effect appeared to be dependent on the bioavailability of curcuminoids preparations and also duration of supplementation. A systematic review and meta-analysis including 9 good quality studies comprising 10 treatment arms found a significant reduction of the inflammatory marker, interleukin-6 (IL-6) following curcuminoids supplementation and that this effect was more evident in patients with higher degrees of systemic inflammation (Derosa et al., 2016). Another systematic review with meta-analysis indicated that curcumin downregulates tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) levels (Sahebkar et al., 2016). However, a more recent summary of the current scientific evidence on this topic including 15 good quality experimental studies, indicated that curcumin-containing supplements exert anti-inflammatory effects by reducing both IL-6 and CRP, but not TNF-a (Tabrizi et al., 2019).

In terms of diseases with an inflammatory component:

  • A summary of research on curcuminoid-piperine in complex found that short-term supplementation improved oxidative and inflammatory status (effective in lowering C-reactive protein) in patients with metabolic syndrome (Panahi et al., 2015).
  • A summary of scientific evidence concluded that turmeric extracts (typically 1 g/day of curcumin) treatment over 8-12 weeks can reduce pain and inflammation-related symptoms and result in similar improvements in the symptoms as ibuprofen and diclofenac sodium without the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with the conventional drugs in those with arthritis especially osteoarthritis (Daily et al., 2016).
  • In terms of treating oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing chemo and/or radiotherapy, scientists has shown that turmeric/curcumin applied topically as a gel or as a mouthwash reduced the grade of mucositis, pain, erythema intensity, and ulcerative area and, therefore, it could be recommended to those with mucositis (Normando et al., 2017)
  • A small systematic review and meta-analysis that included three randomized control studies (Iqbal and colleagues), showed higher clinical remission rates when curcumin was used in combination with mesalamine, the medication used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, to achieve remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (Igbal et al., 2018).


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Marcella  Nebbioso has answered Near Certain

An expert from Sapienza University of Rome in Ophthalmology

The mechanism by which Curcumin induces its effects is yet to be fully elucidated, but many studies have shown its relevance as a potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating agent. It could reduce symptoms and signs of eye discomfort after treatment. Most studies demonstrated its potential therapeutic role and its efficacy in eye relapsing diseases through inhibition of neuronal and vascular damage or oxidative stress, angiogenesis, metastasis, cellular malignant transformation, and inflammatory diseases. In light of its angiogenesis-modulating profile and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin has great potential in the treatment of diseases such as dry eye syndrome, allergic conjunctivitis, anterior uveitis, glaucoma, maculopathy, ischemic and diabetic retinopathy. Indeed, curcumin with its pleiotropic activities can modulate the expression and activation of many cellular regulatory proteins such as chemokines, interleukins, hematopoietic growth factors, and transcription factors, which in turn inhibit cellular inflammatory responses and protect cells. The researchers hypothesized that curcumin could be an effective nutraceutical compound for preventive therapy of several ocular diseases.

Pharmacologically, curcumin does not show any dose-limiting toxicity when it is administered at doses of up to 8 g/day for three months. It is recommended to take 100-200 mg of phospholipids-curcumin 2 times daily with meals.The main complication to the clinical diffusion of curcumin remains the low gastrointestinal absorption and the fast hepatic and intestinal metabolism. Several formulations have been studied to overcome this limitation and increase the bioavailability of curcumin. One formulation proposes to place curcumin in a phytosome made of phospholipids in order to protect it from intestinal hydrolysis. With the formulation of the complex lecithin phospholipids-curcumin increases over 20 times the bioavailability compared with plain curcumin, so allowing a better use of curcumin and validating all those studies in which it was expected that high doses of curcumin were difficult to achieve due to a poor compliance of patients. Turmeric phospholipids underwent pharmacokinetic tests both in animals and humans and showed statistically significant increased bioavailability of the curcumin. The administration of 1 g of turmeric phospholipid corresponds to more than 5 grams of curcumin alone. In the future nanoparticles may prove able to solubilize curcumin, as demonstrated on human tumor pancreatic cell experiments, though this still needs to be tested in vivo. Unfortunately, there are no clinical studies showing the effectiveness and safety of curcumin eye drops.


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

According to my review paper “Curcumin, Cardiometabolic Health and Dementia” published in Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 24;15(10), Curcumin intake in clinical trials is associated with the reduction in inflammatory markers.  The evidence addressed in this review is as follows;

A meta-analysis of 8 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in subjects with a variety of diseases showed that curcuminoids significantly lowered CRP levels (by a mean 2.2 mg/L) compared with a placebo (Panahi et al 2015).  

In a meta-analysis of RCTs [108,109,110,111,112,113], curcumin significantly reduced TNF-α (weight mean difference −4.69 pg/mL; 95% CI: −7.10, −2.28; p < 0.001) [114]. In a meta-analysis of 9 RCTs in subjects with different diseases, curcumin significantly lowered IL-6 by 0.6 pg/mL (P = 0.01) compared with control (Derosa et al 2016).

Curcumin supplement (1 g/day, n = 59) for 8 weeks significantly decreased TNF-α, IL-6, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) compared with placebo (Panahi et al 2016).

In a randomised, double-blind, crossover trial of 30 obese subjects with BMI ≥ 30, curcumin treatment (1 g/day) for 4 weeks significantly decreased IL-4, IL-1 β and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) without differences in IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IFN γ, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and MCP-1, compared with a placebo (Ganjali et al 2014).


Does turmeric reduce inflammation?

Pavla Jendelova has answered Likely

An expert from Czech Academy of Sciences in Neuroscience, Stem Cells

Our research have shown that application of curcumin (turmeric) in rat experimental model of spinal cord injury can reduce activation of one of the proinflammatory pathways (NF-kB), which is activated after injury. This leads to reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-a and further attenuation of inflammation. However, this statement cannot be generalized. Also, we applied curcumin dissolved in oil directly to the spinal cord and in intraperitoneal injections. It must be taken into account that curcumin is not water soluble and oral administration can have less profound effect.

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