The links on this page direct you to the studies referred to in the text
Turmeric For Thyroid Health & so so Much More
Turmeric is an herb which has many benefits.
It has been used for
thousands of years to help with numerous conditions. This herb can
potentially benefit people with autoimmune thyroid conditions, and might
be beneficial in some cases of thyroid cancer. Truth be told, this is an herb that just about anyone can
benefit from, and not just those people with thyroid and autoimmune
Turmeric is commonly used in cooking, and is what gives curry both
its flavor and yellow color. It has been known for centuries that
turmeric has anti-inflammatory activity, but recently there have been
multiple studies which have shown that this is due to curcumin (1).
This agent has been shown to regulate numerous transcription factors,
cytokines, protein kinases, adhesion molecules, redox status, and
enzymes that have been linked to inflammation (1).
Curcumin and Cardiovascular Disease.
Numerous studies show that curcumin may have a protective role in
cardiovascular diseases. And since cardiovascular disease is the number
one cause of death, one can make the argument that everyone should
include turmeric in their diet, or perhaps take a turmeric supplement.
One study discusses how the antioxidant effects of curcumin have been
shown to attenuate adriamycin-induced cardiotoxicity and may prevent
diabetic cardiovascular complications (2).
The same study shows that the anti-thrombotic, anti-proliferative, and
anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin and the effect of curcumin
decreasing the serum cholesterol level may protect against the
pathological changes occurring with atherosclerosis. Another study
demonstrates how dietary curcumin is effective at inhibiting maladaptive
cardiac repair and preserving cardiac function after ischemia and
reperfusion (3). It also goes on to say that curcumin has potential as a treatment for patients who have had a heart attack.
This of course also ties into cardiovascular health, but there have
been separate studies which show how curcumin can help with diabetes.
One study involved people in a prediabetic population who were taking
curcumin (or a placebo) for 9 months (4).
The study concluded by showing that curcumin significantly lowered the
number of prediabetic individuals who eventually developed type 2
diabetes. The same study also showed that curcumin appeared to improve
overall function of beta cells. Another study concluded that curcumin
supplementation could improve diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction
significantly (5). Yet another study demonstrated how curcumin attenuates diabetic neuropathic pain (6).
Curcumin and Asthma/Allergies.
A few studies have shown that curcumin might be beneficial in people
with asthma and allergies. One study showed that curcumin treatments
markedly attenuated the inflammation in asthma by regulating T
regulatory/Th17 balance (7).
The findings supported the possible use of curcumin as a therapeutic
drug for patients with allergic asthma. Another study showed that
curcumin alleviates the pathological changes of chronic asthma, and
might be a promising therapy for asthma in the future (8).
Yet another study showed that there is a marked inhibition of allergic
response in animals treated with curcumin, suggesting a major role for
curcumin in reducing the allergic response (9).
Another study demonstrated that curcumin attenuates the development of
allergic airway inflammation and hyper-responsiveness, possibly through
inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in the asthmatic lung tissue (10).
Curcumin and Skin Diseases.
Curcumin can even help with certain skin conditions. One study
discusses how curcumin protects the skin by quenching free radicals and
reducing inflammation through nuclear factor-KB inhibition (11).
The same study also mentioned how curcumin reduces wound-healing time,
improved collagen deposition and increased fibroblast and vascular
density in wounds thereby enhancing both normal and impaired
wound-healing. The study concluded by suggesting that curcumin might be
a potent nontoxic agent for treating skin diseases. Another study
suggests that oral curcumin might be beneficial in the treatment of
moderate to severe psoriasis (12),
although it concluded by stating that large placebo-controlled studies
are necessary before recommending oral curcumin as a psoriasis
Curcumin and Autoimmunity.
To no surprise, because curcumin can help greatly with inflammation,
this herb can be extremely valuable in the treatment of certain
autoimmune conditions, including Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s
Thyroiditis. One study shows that curcumin helps with autoimmune
conditions by regulating inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta, IL-6,
IL-12, TNF-alpha, and NF-kappaB signaling pathways in immune cells (13). Another study confirmed that curcumin has an inhibitory effect on the cytokines (14). Yet another study looked at the potential of curcumin to modulate CD4+ T cells-mediated autoimmune disease (15),
and the results suggested that curcumin can impact both endoplasmic
reticulum stress and mitochondria functional pathways, and thereby could
be used as a promising therapy in the context of Th-1 mediated
Does this mean that taking turmeric/curcumin is necessary to suppress
the autoimmune response? Not necessarily, as when some people have followed a natural
treatment protocol for their condition they have not taken turmeric.
And also patients have done well on a natural treatment protocol
without taking turmeric.
There are many different nutrients and herbs
which can help with inflammation. But turmeric is a very powerful
anti-inflammatory herb and as more and more information comes out about this spice many people are adding or even replacing other herbs with Turmeric.
Thyroid cancer is the most common type of cancer when it comes to the
endocrine system. A recent study reported that curcumin
inhibits multiple metastasis steps of K1 papillary thyroid cancer cells (16). These findings showed that curcumin might be effective for the treatment of aggressive papillary thyroid carcinomas.
Other Benefits of Curcumin.
There are even more potential benefits of taking curcumin. One study
discussed how dietary curcumin is a strong candidate for use in the
prevention or treatment of major disabling age-related neurodegenerative
diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke (17). Another study suggested that curcumin has enormous potential in the prevention and therapy of cancer (18). Curcumin might also be useful as a treatment for ulcerative colitis (19), as well as benefit people with osteoarthritis (20).
Contraindications and Interactions
According to the book “Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy”,
which was written by well-known herbalist Kerry Bone, there are no
contraindications for turmeric other than allergic reaction, which is
rare. With regards to interactions, because it has antiplatelet
activity, Kerry Bone recommends that high doses should not be given to
patients taking antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. In his book he
also mentions how no adverse effects are expected at the recommended
dosage during pregnancy and lactation.
In summary, turmeric has many
different benefits, and while it can help people with thyroid and
autoimmune thyroid conditions, many other people can benefit from taking
turmeric. It can potentially prevent cardiovascular disease, help
people who have diabetes, as well as those who have asthma and/or
allergies. Curcumin might be able to benefit people with skin
conditions, such as psoriasis. And since it also can inhibit
pro-inflammatory cytokines it can be beneficial for people with
autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Graves’ Disease and Hashimoto’s
Turmeric has got so much potential, if you are already on medication for any of the listed complaints here please talk to your Medical Practitioner and direct them to this site where they can study the findings themselves, with consultation they may find that Turmeric can help, assist or even replace some of the medicinal drugs and associated side effects.