When it comes to turmeric, the yellowish-orange spice many thought could have a positive effect on illness, research shows there may be much ado about nothing.
A recent meta-analysis of more than 120 clinical trials and 5,000 published studies casts serious doubts on whether there are any significant health benefits to the spice.
A group of researchers led by Kathy Nelson, a research associate at the University of Minnesota Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development, found that not a single double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial (the best type of research study) of curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric, has shown the spice to have an impact on human health.
That may be startling news for turmeric fans, who have been fervently adding the spice to their lattes and meals. Turmeric has gained a reputation for being a miracle spice, touted for its ability to possibly delay diabetes, ward off heart attacks and even fight against cancer. The spice was also among the ten most popularly searched superfoods in the U.S. in 2016.
Most scientists test out pure curcumin inside the lab when studying turmeric. The way we consume it ― derived from a spice, and prepared with heat ― may impact the effectiveness of possible health benefits.