Turmeric, a spice commonly used in cooking, has long been known for its medicinal properties, especially in South East Asia. The spice comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and contains an active compound called curcumin.
Though curcumin has been thought to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, it has not been directly compared to conventional drugs for indigestion treatment until now.
Researchers in Thailand conducted a randomized controlled trial between 2019 and 2021 involving 206 patients aged 18-70 who experienced recurrent upset stomach or functional dyspepsia.
Participants were divided into three treatment groups: one receiving curcumin, another receiving omeprazole (a common drug used for stomach acid control), and a third receiving both.
The patients were observed for 28 days and assessed again at 56 days using the Severity of Dyspepsia Assessment (SODA) score.
Results indicated that all three groups experienced significant symptom improvement, both in terms of pain and other indigestion symptoms.
The improvements were even stronger at the 56-day mark. No serious side effects were reported, although some liver function deterioration was observed among overweight curcumin users.
One interesting observation was that the satisfaction scores among curcumin users did not change significantly, possibly due to its taste or smell.
Researchers noted several limitations, including the small sample size, short study duration, and lack of long-term monitoring.
However, they concluded that their study “provides highly reliable evidence for the treatment of functional dyspepsia,” adding that the findings may justify the consideration of curcumin as a treatment in clinical practice.
The study’s results could be groundbreaking in providing an alternative to omeprazole, especially given the latter’s known side effects, such as micronutrient deficiencies, increased fracture risk, and heightened risk of infections.
With further research and larger studies, curcumin could become a natural, less risky option for treating indigestion symptoms.
However, as always, anyone considering changing their treatment plan should consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
If you care about nutrition, please read studies about Diet high in these nutrients linked to longer life in type 2 diabetes and findings of This nutrient in diet may lower vision loss risk in older people.
about heart health, please see recent studies about Aspirin linked to a higher risk of heart failure, and results showing this drug could reduce heart disease, fatty liver, and obesity.
The research findings can be found in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.
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