Supplements tend to lack good research support
While this is a very true statement there is more and more research being done on the effects of curcumin at the cellular level and in animals. What we are lacking are the human studies that show curcumin’s role in treating disease. Here is a summary by the Mayo Clinic related to cancer and curcumin.
"Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy. Curcumin is being studied for use in many types of cancer. Studies of curcumin in people are still in the early stages."
“At this time, there isn't enough evidence to recommend curcumin for preventing or treating cancer, but research is ongoing.” Timothy Moynihan MD, Mayo Clinic
In the treatment of inflammation due to arthritis or reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides there are some great clinical studies that support the use of Curcumin in assisting in the treatment of these conditions.
The labels of Turmeric supplements can have some strong language promising 'detoxifier', 'powerful antioxidant', 'supports digestive and heart health'. It is important to remember that these statements have little meaning in the context of health and disease. While not entirely untrue they need clarification and good research when using turmeric for a specific condition, symptom or disease. This is where your doctor can assist you with the bigger picture of your medical condition.
Taking supplements should not replace good medical care
Because of the safety of turmeric curcumin there is no reason not to try it. (Unless you have some of the conditions listed above related to safety.) A few questions to ask yourself while trying this or any supplement…
What are your goals with taking turmeric curcumin?
What do you expect to happen?
What can you measure to show that the turmeric is working?
If you have an idea of why you are taking turmeric then you can monitor your results.
Want to have less pain with exercise? You should feel better when on turmeric and worse when you stop using it.
Want to reduce your cholesterol? Check it before starting Curcumin and 3 months after to show that it is helping.