Is There Such A Human Study?
What is interesting about Turmeric is that it is a plant that is consumed mostly as an ingredient of local ethnic foods, primarily by natives of India, particularly in Southeast India, where it grows. It is claimed to have ant-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-dementia, anti-infectious, and anti-oxidant properties. With all these health benefits, one would expect that natives of Southeast India would have longer life expectancies. One would be very wrong and disappointed as India has one of the lowest rates of life expectancy anywhere in the world. (See:
Faithful readers of this blog may remember a few years back my writing about the recommendation I received from Michael Roizen, a partner with Dr. Oz on several books, who highly recommended that I consume turmeric for its multiple health benefits, including dementia prevention. (Here's an excerpt from that blog almost three years ago:
"Dr. Roizen told me that turmeric prevents Alzheimer's and is good for brain health. Based on Dr. Roizen's suggestion that day (and my hearing him repeat the same advice a few days later on the Retirement Living TV channel), I naively purchased turmeric and began to add it regularly to my food.
Unfortunately, the highly staining substance turned my teeth bright yellow. After this disconcerting turn of events, I began intensively researching turmeric and discovered two disturbing facts. First, tumeric has little validated science to support its use for the indications Dr. Roizen asserted. Second, I discovered that in the absence of a black pepper called piperine, turmeric is very poorly absorbed by normal ingestion and so adding it to my food was an effort in futility, except if turning my teeth yellow was my endgame. (By the way, I had to go to a dentist to get rid of the stain.)"
It was that incident, by the way, that really started me on the path of trying to verify positive statements made about any dietary supplement.
Final (For Now) Word on Turmeric
As an aside, I am not against turmeric, or its derivative curcumin, as an ingredient in meals. There is just no real good proof that it has a very positive effect on any major human health factor. According to naturalstandard.com, it doesn't get higher than a grade of C, for inconclusive evidence, for any clinical indication.
So once again, Dr. Oz recommends a product that lacks the scientific support he claims. He even goes so far as to give a specific untested dosage of 500 mg.
Did he just make it up? You know the answer.