Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

Have you been having a hard time losing weight and feeling inflamed? Well, let me tell you you are not alone.  Obesity is quickly becoming a global epidemic. Experts predict that over half of the world’s population will be obese by the year 2035.

Among the many compounds researched for their potential weight loss  benefits, curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, has been one of the most promising products.  The frustrating problem is that it is not absorbed very well, it is broken down too quickly in our bodies and we eliminated too quickly too (according to the March study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

The Study

Scientists from Khon Kaen Hospital and Mahidol University in Thailand performed a systematic search of 50 reviews, where they compared the effects of curcumin supplementation (alone without combining it with other nutrients) with usual or standard weight loss care.  They measured outcomes such as body mass index (BMI), body weight (BW), and waist circumference (WC) before and after intervention.

The researchers concluded that “curcumin supplementation reduces BMI, BW, and WC, particularly in adults with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), obesity, or metabolic syndrome.  The benefit of curcumin supplementation seems to be the greatest in adults with obesity or with DM2 (type 2 diabetes).”

Additionally, the researchers found that “Bioavailability-enhanced curcumin formulas are preferred for their greater average treatment effect than either whole compounds or curcumin extracts.”


The researches write – “Curcumin supplementation should be an option for treating and managing [obesity],”

The researchers noted that using turmeric in cooking may also be a good way to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of curcumin. “There may be a potential advantage in consuming turmeric as a culinary ingredient because volatile and non-volatile oils found in turmeric enhance the absorption of curcumin. Moreover, when consuming turmeric with fats or oils in foods, it can be absorbed directly into blood circulation through the lymphatic system, bypassing the liver metabolism.”