An ingredient hidden on the shelves of many kitchens could become a new ally for health.
This is turmeric, a spice characterized by its unique orange color and a spicy and bitter taste. It comes from the plant Curcuma longa and is native to southwest India. In Southeast Asia and India it is usually used to flavor rice, stews, soups and other gastronomic preparations, but in recent years its consumption has spread to other countries.
Although it is considered to have important anti-inflammatory properties, its effects have not been tested in comparison to a conventional drug. But that has simply changed.
According to a recent study by researchers at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), turmeric contains a natural compound called curcumin that is as effective as omeprazole in combating digestive disorders.
It’s important to remember that omeprazole is a medication used to treat excessive stomach acid, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although it is used for more serious illnesses, it is also possible to use it for indigestion or dyspepsia.
The results of the research were published on September 11 in the British Medical Journal.
According to the research, scientists took into account that curcumin is used to treat dyspepsia in Southeast Asian countries, but the component has not yet been tested.
Researchers recruited 206 participants, 151 of whom completed the study. They were between 18 and 70 years old and were randomly assigned to different groups: one received curcumin, another omeprazole and the last contained both elements.
The start of the experiments consisted of dispensing the medication assigned to each participant. These medications consisted of 250 milligrams of curcumin or placebo and 20 milligrams of omeprazole or placebo. Individuals were required to take two large capsules four times daily and one small capsule daily for 28 days.
In case of side effects, participants had the opportunity to notify the researchers. On days 28 and 56 of the trial, they were examined to observe the symptoms they had initially reported, such as bloating, stomach pain, nausea and bloating after eating.
Ultimately, the researchers found that there were no significant differences in symptoms between the three groups. On the 56th day they each improved positively.
The above led the research to conclude that both curcumin and omeprazole “had comparable efficacy in functional dyspepsia with no apparent synergistic effect.”
Although the authors emphasize that the study is notable for its “relevance to daily clinical practice” and that “it was the first well-designed study” that could compare curcumin with omeprazole for the treatment of dyspepsia, they acknowledge that they also has limitations. . This is mainly due to the small group of participants and the lack of follow-up data.
“Future studies should examine the long-term benefits and harms (at least 6 to 12 months) of curcumin in functional dyspepsia, the long-term reliever use of curcumin in functional dyspepsia, and the effectiveness of curcumin in other functional gastrointestinal disorders,” they concluded .