If curcumin could be patented, you can bet Big Pharma would “fast-track” it with turbo speed. Especially after the results of a recent study showing this simple curry spice may be the closest thing to a “magic bullet” there is for combating metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome, as I’ve discussed before, is a condition characterized by abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, high fasting blood glucose, and low HDL cholesterol. Basically, all factors that put you one step away from heart disease and diabetes. And, sadly, in America, you can look in almost any direction and see someone with this syndrome.
But according to this new double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, curcumin may help sideline some of metabolic syndrome’s biggest threats to your heart.
Taiwanese researchers recruited 65 people and randomly assigned them to receive either 630 mg of curcumin or a placebo three times a day, for 12 weeks. The curcumin group’s HDL cholesterol went from 41 to 43 mg/dL, and LDL cholesterol decreased from 121 to 107 mg/dL.
Of course, I’ve mentioned many times before that cholesterol isn’t the be-all, end-all of assessing your heart health. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely. In fact, in the November 2014 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter, I wrote an article detailing exactly what you need to know about your complete cholesterol profile. Subscribers can access this article from the archives for free by logging on to my website, www.drpescatore.com. (And if you’re not already a subscriber, the website also has all the info you need to sign up today.)
In the meantime, let me just say that my biggest problem with mainstream medicine’s cholesterol obsession is the massive overprescribing of statin drugs. Not only are the benefits of statins questionable—at best, they also pose some serious risks to your health. Curcumin, on the other hand, can help you safely balance your cholesterol (instead of just forcing it lower and lower).
Plus, unlike statins, curcumin offers other significant benefits for your heart.
In fact, according to this new study, people taking curcumin also experienced a whopping 65 point drop in triglycerides. And in my opinion, triglycerides are far more important than cholesterol.
Triglycerides are a type of blood fat (lipid) that occurs when you take in more calories than you can burn. Your body converts these excess calories into triglycerides. And if your liver isn’t operating at the top of its game (which is frequently the case these days, thanks to the Standard American Diet), it can’t process those triglycerides. Which means they build up and wreak havoc in your body. I recommend keeping your triglyceride level at or below 100 mg/dl. And curcumin is a safe, simple way to help you do just that.
These conditions are some of Big Pharma’s top-selling categories. Yet one simple supplement may be able to help you combat all of them in one fell swoop. Just imagine how much room you’ll have in your medicine cabinet…not to mention how much better you’ll feel.
I recommend taking 500 mg of curcumin per day in supplement form, but don’t forget to cook with it regularly, as well. After all, there’s nothing like a tasty curry on a cold winter’s night.
Lipid-Lowering Effects of Curcumin in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Phytotherapy Research 2014; 28(12): 1,770-1,777