Turmeric Curcumin for Prediabetes

Turmeric Curcumin for Prediabetes
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A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial on the use of the turmeric pigment curcumin to prevent diabetes in prediabetics is published with extraordinary results.


An extraordinary study was published in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of folks diagnosed with prediabetes. Half got supplements of curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric and curry powder, and the other half got identical looking placebos, and they just followed them for nine months to see who ended up with diabetes.

After nine months of treatment, 16% of subjects in the placebo group went on to get full-blown diabetes. How many in the curcumin group? None. The curcumin group saw a significant improvement in fasting blood sugars, glucose tolerance, hemoglobin A1C, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell function (measured two different ways), and insulin sensitivity.

What if you already have diabetes? Same beneficial effects, and at a fraction of the dose. The prediabetes study used the equivalent of like a quarter cup of turmeric a day, whereas this used only about a teaspoon’s worth, which is doable through diet rather than supplements. And what’s interesting here is the purported mechanism. Fat in the bloodstream plays an important role in the development of insulin resistance and ultimately, type 2 diabetes. Fat builds up inside your muscle cells and gums up the works, interfering with insulin signaling. And look what the curcumin was able to do to fat levels in the blood, the first study to show that these turmeric spice compounds may have an anti-diabetic effect by decreasing fats in the blood.

So, if you are pre-diabetic, it might be a good idea to add turmeric to your diet, but it’s important to recognize that prediabetes is a disease in itself, increasing the risk of death, cancer, heart disease, and vision loss. So, it’s not enough to just prevent progression to full-blown diabetes; prediabetes may be cured completely, with a healthy plant-based diet.

Remember the smoker pee study? Yes, those who abuse their bodies with unhealthy diets can lower their risk by eating powerful plants, but better to cut the crap out altogether.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Hans via Pixabay.

An extraordinary study was published in the Journal of the American Diabetes Association. Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of folks diagnosed with prediabetes. Half got supplements of curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric and curry powder, and the other half got identical looking placebos, and they just followed them for nine months to see who ended up with diabetes.

After nine months of treatment, 16% of subjects in the placebo group went on to get full-blown diabetes. How many in the curcumin group? None. The curcumin group saw a significant improvement in fasting blood sugars, glucose tolerance, hemoglobin A1C, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell function (measured two different ways), and insulin sensitivity.

What if you already have diabetes? Same beneficial effects, and at a fraction of the dose. The prediabetes study used the equivalent of like a quarter cup of turmeric a day, whereas this used only about a teaspoon’s worth, which is doable through diet rather than supplements. And what’s interesting here is the purported mechanism. Fat in the bloodstream plays an important role in the development of insulin resistance and ultimately, type 2 diabetes. Fat builds up inside your muscle cells and gums up the works, interfering with insulin signaling. And look what the curcumin was able to do to fat levels in the blood, the first study to show that these turmeric spice compounds may have an anti-diabetic effect by decreasing fats in the blood.

So, if you are pre-diabetic, it might be a good idea to add turmeric to your diet, but it’s important to recognize that prediabetes is a disease in itself, increasing the risk of death, cancer, heart disease, and vision loss. So, it’s not enough to just prevent progression to full-blown diabetes; prediabetes may be cured completely, with a healthy plant-based diet.

Remember the smoker pee study? Yes, those who abuse their bodies with unhealthy diets can lower their risk by eating powerful plants, but better to cut the crap out altogether.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Hans via Pixabay.

158 responses to “Turmeric Curcumin for Prediabetes

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        1. Yescacao.com makes fabulous chocolates that contain Turmeric. I think Pacari also has something that contains turmeric but not quite sure. I am someone who’s big into raw chocolates and spices, and the Yes bars are really good.

      1. Not chocolate, but I mix turmeric in the hummus just before eating it. The hummus is so yummy and flavorful that I don’t notice any turmeric flavor.

    1. I can buy turmeric cheaply at an Asian foods grocery store near my house. Plain raw cucurmin is unpalatable to me, but when I ferment it, even slightly, it takes the edge off the flavor and I can enjoy it in my huge nightly salad with some black pepper and olive oil. Still working on the lecithin.
      John S

  1. After all the positive studies that have been done on turmeric/curcumin, I am
    convinced of the many benefits of adding it to ones diet. My
    question is: what is the most effective method of getting curcumin
    absorbed into the bodily organs that can make use of it? This study
    says that the subjects were given 6 capsules each containing 250 mg
    of curcumin extract per day, which adds up to 1.5 g of extract per
    day. There are now many capsules on the market each containing
    different formulations of curcumin extract and each claiming their
    formulation has the best absorption rate backed up by their own
    absorption studies. For instance, C3 Complex, CurQfen, and
    several others. Could Dr Greger take a look at these absorption
    studies and let us know what his assessment would be? Which
    formulation is truly better absorbed? Or should we just take a
    simple curcumin extract as in this study, or just eat a quarter cup
    of ground turmeric per day! It is also my understanding that black
    pepper (piperine) and some form of fat helps in the absorption also.

  2. The study says they took 6 250 mg (of circuminoid) capsules per day, 3 capsules twice daily. Divine bounty makes a 750mg capsule form combined with BioPerine (the black pepper extract) that is supposed to help it absorb more easily. So it appears I could just take one 750 mg capsule, twice daily for the same theraputic effect. The cost is about 21 cents per capsule, so 42 cents daily to help prevent diabetes :) That’s a good deal !

    1. I wonder how much whole turmeric 250 mg of curcuminoid is equivalent to. Also, using curcumin capsules containing pipeline in research would be introducing a confounding factor.

      1. using whole turmeric would be a confounding factor also George, along with any of the other ingredients in your food :) They have just curcuminoid tablets that are similar strength. so I could just get the pure capsules to try to stick with the studied regimen.

        1. Will: I’m sorry for not being very clear. I was writing about using extracts containing pipeline in research, not taking them by people for therapeutic purposes. If curcumin+ pipeline is used in research and a positive outcome is observed, there’s no way of knowing whether the outcome is due to curcumin, or due to pipeline, or due to both. I’m no expert on nutrition research, but as I see, and as you’ve pointed out, it’s impossible to remove all confounding factors in a study in which the subjects are humans.

  3. It’s this type of find in the literature that is down right practice changing!

    So as per your advice I am cutting the crap out and starting all my diabetics on Tumeric.

    Is it unethical if I don’t tell my colleagues about this and use their patients as controls?
    They will be orange with envy!

    Orange is the new Green!

    1. Your patients are fortunate to have you for a doctor. Maybe you should feel out colleagues and find the ones who are receptive to nutrition information, and tell them. I don’t often quote the Bible, but somewhere in there it says not to cast your pearls before swine. Since that cannot possible be literal, it seems to fit this situation.

      1. That is nice of you to say! ;-)

        My colleagues know of this information and have very slowly moved to the Whole Plant food direction which is clearly a good thing. We also have a plant based dietitian that is fantastic and they refer to him frequently, but the spark that a physician provides in getting patients on-board for lifestyle changes is invaluable and the primary driving force that motivates the patients to really make the change in the first place.

        Also I know it is overwhelming for them to have to educate themselves on this style of treatment and learn how to implement this into their practice. Without a doubt it takes more time to educate your patients and ultimately this reduces patients throughput and reduces practice revenue.

        But I don’t care about maximizing revenue I care about my patients and their health. I can do a lot in a 20-40 minute visit and I can see 16-18 pt’s a day. (It could be more if it wasn’t for all the damn typing into the EMR (Electronic Medical Record).

        Ultimately, I went into medicine to be a patient advocate because my prior ten years of being in Cardiology as a Sonographer (hence the pseudonym HemoDynamic) showed me many times that the physicians were not patient advocates, they were ‘sickness’ care advocates because that maximizes their revenue–Money and my convenience first! Patients last, or worse, not even considered at all!

        If you want an insight into the egregious happenings of medical training check out this unabashed and very insightful look into the audacious and shameless world of medical training. Heart Failure – Diary of a Third Year Medical Student.

        I really did and still do feel that the only way to make a difference in this world, and with my patients, is BE the difference!

        I can truly say that I am now a human BEing.

        1. I think I love you, care to be cloned? 20-40 minute visit??? That’s how long I usually WAITED to see the doctor once inside in a waiting room, (after a 2 hour wait outside) but the actual visit itself never lasted more than a few minutes, and he had FOUR patients scheduled in each 15 minute block! (Miss your time and it’ll co$$$t you dearly too!) After all, it only takes a few minutes to say hello, act concerned and give out another new medicine! You doctors who actually CARE about your patients are really going to create problems for those others ya know? How inconsiderate! Ha ha ha! You are the best kind of superheroes and what people dream of when they think DOCTOR! Kudos to you!!! May you spread like ….I was gonna say the plague, but that ain’t right!

        2. If only all the doctors -or at least half the doctors -were like you and Dr. Greger. I teach , and most of my students are premed, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, etc., and the vast majority of them want to go to the respective program for one and only one reason: to be rich. And it shows in their personality and character. Their philosophy of life is simple: The end justifies the means. (The rare student who has genuinely idealistic reasons for wanting to be a healthcare professional ends of changing the career goal , disgusted with the peers.) The only way to change this is to make medical practice not a business, but that’s dreaming.

        3. Can an MD enter nutritional treatments in patients’ EMRs rather than hospital-approved pharma protocol and not be called on the carpet by record reviewers (if you know what I mean)?

          1. This is documented in the patients EMR that I discussed lifestyle changes and gave them a whole packet of lifestyle changing information and that I had them watch videos from NutritionFacts.org, etc. However, I have many patients that don’t and won’t make any lifestyle changes and I am then left with only medications to slow the progression or modify their sensations of their chronic diseases.

            In fact I had one patient ‘fire’ me last week because every time she comes to the office she works herself up into a anxious frenzy because she doesn’t want me to say anything about lifestyle changes because she is not going to change. I told her that’s fine and I have many patients that don’t eat that way and still see me as their physician. But as I told her it would be unethical for me to not teach these lifestyle changes. In fact it is in the AMA code of ethics (maybe Dr. greger or someone reading this could give you the link) that we as physicians are ethically obliged to give patient’s all treatment options for treating their disease. Remember the RBA’s we have to tell our patients before we do any procedure or treatment? Risk, Benefits, and ALTERNATIVES! And how questions were sought and answered and patient agrees to proceed with said procedure.

            Regarding being called on the carpet: Doctors have tried to ‘call me on the carpet’, but I know too much for them to make any valid argument against plant based eating. And all the patients that I have eating plant based ALL get better. Their cholesterol goes down, their inflammation goes down, their weight goes down, their lab values improve and their quality of life goes up. I say show me your patients who eat your Paleo diet, your Gluten Free diet or just take medications for treatment and compare them to the improvements I have with my patients on a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. I always win. In fact they just leave me alone now because they know that what I am doing is the best medicine money can buy.

            I always encourage them to bring me evidence otherwise that what I am doing is wrong. No one has EVER been able to bring any scientific evidence that lifestyle change is a dangerous way to treat patients.

            I did have one doc bring an article to me that Beef Lowers Cholesterol. Then when I showed him how the study was flawed in the sense that they took people eating eggs, chicken, cheese (which have the highest amount of saturated fat and saturated fat increases cholesterol) then measured their cholesterol. The researchers then stopped them from eating those foods and then gave them only beef (which lowered their saturated fat intake from 12% to 6 %) and lower saturated fat=lower cholesterol, and then measured their cholesterol. Guess what it went down. No surprise there. You can see a great review by Dr. Greger here: Beef Lowers Cholesterol

            Guess what the Doc said? I am quoting here, “You weren’t supposed to read the study.”

            You cannot go wrong with Lifestyle changes. It beats medication treatment for chronic disease every time. So educate yourself and refer all doubters to NutritionFacts.org. All the eduVideos are referenced. Also send them to http://www.DrMcDougall.com (my personal mentor) who has been treating with plant based eating for over 30 years. Send them to Neal Barnard, MD’s website http://www.PCRM.org. Also another great website is http://doctorklaper.com/. A very kind, compassionate human being and fantastic physician.

            Also a very important point to remember is eat better for you first. We are all at risk for chronic disease and the most powerful modifiable factor is your diet. So if you change your diet to a whole food plant based diet who gets better? Not only you, but planet as a whole.

            1. Dr. Hemodynamic: re: “”…it would be unethical for me to not teach these lifestyle changes. In fact it is in the AMA code of ethics (maybe Dr. greger or someone reading this could give you the link) that we as physicians are ethically obliged to give patient’s all treatment options for treating their disease. Remember the RBA’s we have to tell our patients before we do any procedure or treatment? Risk, Benefits, and ALTERNATIVES!”
              “In fact they just leave me alone now because they know that what I am doing is the best medicine money can buy.”
              Given these two sentences, it is unethical for your co-workers, who have seen your results, not to share the same information you are sharing with patients.
              I LOVE your story about the doc and the “beef lowers…” study. You just can’t stuff up!

              1. Unethical! Exactly! That’s why they were probably afraid in the first place about learning what I teach. They knew somewhere deep inside that there was something substantially life changing to the plant based lifestyle. And if they really investigated it they would now be responsible for educating their patients about lifestyle/dietary change.

                Nothing like a physician having to learn something new that might help their patients that wasn’t a pill. Heaven forbid! |8-0)

                I bought over 20 “How not to die” books and gave 15 to my coworkers and providers. Only 4 out of the fifteen thanked me. I even had Dr Greger write notes in all of them trying to get them motivated to understand why I do what I do. At least 4 said thank you. The rest I think just felt condescended to. Medicine is so ego driven that it’s hard to make inroads with anything new ( even though true plant based health has been around since 1939 with Dr Walter Kempner at Duke University.

                Slow but forceful movement forward!

                Also you are my inspiration for helping all of us at NF.org. We are a TEAM! Sounds kinda corny but Together Everyone Achieves More.

                1. Dr. Hemodynamic: re: team. Yes! I can’t help as much with the technical questions, but I feel that we all have a good role to play here on NF. Thank you so much for saying I am part of the team and an inspiration. That made me feel so good, I shared it with my family.

                  1. Thea, I speak the truth. Were you ever asked to be a NF volunteer? Do you have any interest in that? I think you should be. Just think you get to have a really cool Avatar with NF MOD on it ;-)

                    1. Dr. HemoDynamic: I am technically an official volunteer moderator and have been since Dr. Greger appointed the first few people to get the system started. The problem is that when Joseph (whom I miss terribly!) came on board, they removed the moderator system functionality from the volunteers. I didn’t want to change my name or picture, because I want to be free to make posts on other sites too and having my name say “Thea – NF Volunteer” doesn’t work for me when I am on other sites. But I am still officially a volunteer. I just don’t have the medical background or skill at research that you and the others have. So, I feel honored to be included as part of the team from someone like yourself (who has made me feel so much better about doctors in general–I continue to be on the lookout for someone just like you to be my doctor). Thanks!

                    2. That’s what I thought (that you were a volunteer from the beginning, and I see your name in the emails that Tommasina sends) but I didn’t see NF-Volunteer behind your name on your posts.

                      Yeah the one thing I miss from the MOD functionality is the streaming posts. It was nice to log in and see all the current posts in one simple format. Now I don’t have any idea what people are asking unless they post to me specifically or it is the topic of the day.

                      Unfortunately, you are correct and there are not many docs that are present, compassionate and lifestyle changing. I wish there were more because it would make my job easier if other doc’s would actually listen to their patients issues, be present for the short time they are with them, and encourage them to eat better.

                      Also as you have unfortunately but truthfully learned the Medical Sickness Care System is not geared to make compassionate, educated doctors, it’s meant to make them part of the Sickness care Club run by large and powerful pharmaceutical, insurance and medical corporations as their pawns for profit.

                      I just made that up. I like that in a wry way, “Pawns for Profit”. I think I’m going to have some Mugs made with that emblazoned on the side. I could go even further, instead of a White Coat Ceremony where all the medical school professors don the new medical students with a fresh white medical coat symbolizing our entering the medical ‘White’ supremacy school (that sounds a bit harsh I know, but it’s really a truth), we could get a few CEO’s from big Pharma, Big Insurance and Big Hospitals to place medical students in straight jackets with, Pawns for Profit emblazoned front and back.

                    3. re: Pawns for Profit
                      Ah Absolutely *Adore* Alliteration. I’m all for the mugs…

                      re: streaming/mod functionality
                      Yes! I really miss a few features and that’s one of them. I’m hoping we can go back to getting the actual mod functionality back.

                2. Just a single advice of taking 1/8 tsp ginger powder at first sign of headache, removed my links with allopathy medicine all together :). Anyone not thanking for “How not to die” book probably haven’t mustered time to read or just doesn’t want to change.

            2. Hemodynamic: It seems like the “Truth” is popping up all over the place now-a-days! Thank you for helping to lead the way in the medical field.

            3. Dr. HD,
              Thank you for that wonderful response, and for triggering this informative thread.
              As someone who worked with medical records for 30 years in a hospital setting and observed the politics I was just curious, that’s all.
              I know nothing about you other than you must be one fabulous MD :-)
              Thanks again.

          1. Unfortunately you are correct about there not being many docs (Especially primary care docs) that have compassion and teach plant based eating as the first and foremost modifiable risk factor for chronic disease. Slowly though, it is changing. And as Confucius has said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

            1. It is good that it is changing. as slow as it may be. And im my reading and browsing on the internet about health and reading Dr John McDougalls and others news letters, there are more coming on board all the time. That is good news!

  4. I bought some Turmeric and have used it in recipes and on food many times, but I’m having a hard time doing every day, maybe even just once a week! Can I get someone’s opinion on this Turmeric supplement? I figure taking a supplement everyday that may not be as good as the raw spice is better than raw turmeric once a week. I found this on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Turmeric-Curcumin-C3-BioPerine-Capsule/dp/B0166KAW8M/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1452876482&sr=8-2&keywords=divine+bounty+turmeric+curcumin+c3

    1. seanmac: I’ve been eating turmeric as a spice since I started eating solid food. You can add small amounts of turmeric to anything you cook or even don’t cook (example: salad dressing) in small amounts without affecting the taste. For example, suppose you made a soup enough for two and added a1/4 teaspoon of turmeric; you wouldn’t taste the turmeric at all. A lot of people new to turmeric as a spice have trouble with it because they use a lot of it. In the part of the world where I come from, turmeric is added to food not for the flavor but for the color and for the health benefits.

      1. guest: That’s such a great tip. I really like the idea of adding trivial amounts all day with the idea that it would add up to something beneficial.

        I had to smile at one part of your comment. re: “…turmeric is added to food not for the flavor but for the color and for the health benefits.” I’ll definitely give you health benefits, but sometimes that color thing works against turmeric rather than for it. One of my relatives added some turmeric to some vegan nut cheese she had made. It tasted great. We couldn’t really taste the turmeric. But the color was a *bright* neon yellow-orange. It looked like someone had added a bottle of food die. We ate it, but I don’t think she has added turmeric to her nut cheese since then. It was just too traumatizing. ;-)

        PS: I know that turmeric usually does great things to food and it’s color. I just wanted to share this funny experience.

        1. Hi Thea: That’s funny! She must have added a lot to get the extra-sharp cheddar look. But her experience must be a good way to get young children to eat funky-looking vegan cheese instead of boring-looking dairy cheese. (No kid would resist neon cheese.) Anyway, here’s another easy way to add small amounts of turmeric – and its sidekick – to the diet frequently: instead of a black pepper shaker, keep a black pepper/turmeric shaker (roughly at 1:1 ratio by volume) and shake a little on every savory food on your plate.

          1. guest: That’s such a great idea! I may have to give that shaker thing a try. Seems like an easy thing to try at least. I wouldn’t have to remember to add turmeric separately. I would be naturally reaching for it every time I reached for the pepper.

            re: kids and neon colored cheese. I had the same thought. :-) It hurt our adult eyes, but I would guess it would be a real turn on for most kids.

          1. I don’t cook with it enough myself. But the times I have, I have to say my fingers start to match the color of the food… Counters, fingers, clothes. I agree. Potent.

      2. Try my go-to afternoon cocktail:
        6 oz low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
        ¼ tsp powdered turmeric (or ½ tsp grated turmeric root)
        1/8 tsp black pepper
        1/10 tsp ground clove
        ¼ tsp sumac powder
        ¼ tsp powdered ginger
        ¼ tsp powdered mustard
        1 tsp ground flaxseeds (or chia seeds)
        ½-1 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
        Juice & zest of 1/8 lemon
        Stir together and dilute with 6 oz water. Result: little jolts of curcumin, piperine, lycopene, limonene, lignans, capsaicin & a whole bunch of other phytonutrients in a tasty and what I hope is a synergistically absorbable form. Skol!

        1. Sounds great.

          I like the idea of replacing the water with a plant based milk, like oat milk (my current favourite) for a more luxuriant beverage, but rice/hemp/almond/hazelnut milk would work to.

      3. this tonic is quite palatable too. i use it to take some tumeric “shots” during the day. This is one to keep in the refrigerator. You can add fresh mint leaves to brighten it further.

        3 cups coconut water
        1/2 cup fresh ginger slices
        1 lime, cut in quarters and squeezed
        1 tablespoon ground turmeric
        1/4 teaspoon cardamom
        2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
        Cayenne pepper to taste

        Combine ingredients in a sealable container, shake well, refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.

      4. I eat turmeric every day in one of my servings of cruci veggies, tomatoes, and beans as curry, with a bit of mustard, garam masala, cumin, curry, red pepper.

    2. seanmac, I know what you mean about having trouble fitting turmeric in daily. We use turmeric in some soups, salad dressing and Curried Cauliflower and thus consume it about twice per week. On days that we don’t get turmeric in our diet, we take Organic India turmeric. The serving size for one capsule is the exact 1/4 tsp per day that Dr. Greger recommends.

    3. There is a liquid turmeric supplement which is quite pleasant. It is called Turmeric Plus, I get it at a health shop here in Australia.

    4. I could never manage to eat turmeric every day when I was trying to use it with meals, either. Instead, I started mixing 2 tbsp flax seed, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp amla in a small glass jar every morning. I take half with a spoon and a glass of water right before breakfast and half right before dinner. It tastes very nutty and pleasant. You can buy bulk flaxseed and spices at iherb.com or vitacost.com. Those are good places to buy turmeric supplements as well, if you decide to go that route. mountainroseherbs.com is a good place to buy bulk amla powder and other spices, too.

  5. Check this out:


    A link to the full paper:


    “This study generated three lines of experimental
    evidence related to the protective effects of dietary curcumin on
    cerebrovascular dysfunction. First, impaired cerebrovascular endothelial
    function and increased ROS in aging rats were improved by chronic dietary
    curcumin administration via a UCP2-dependent pathway. Second, curcumin
    administration-mediated UCP2 up-regulation involved AMPK activation in the
    cerebrovascular endothelium. Third, curcumin-mediated activation of the
    AMPK/UCP2 pathway antagonized superoxide anion production and prevented NO
    reduction in endothelial cells. . . . In summary, our findings provide the first evidence that chronic
    pharmacological AMPK/UCP2 pathway activation by curcumin treatment may be an
    effective therapeutic strategy to reverse age-related
    cerebrovascular dysfunction. Curcumin administration may represent a promising
    lifestyle intervention for preventing age-related cerebrovascular

  6. How many people were in the study? If it’s only 6 each side and one went on to develop full blown diabetes in the placebo while zero did on the turmeric supplement then that’s a pretty useless study. On the other hand if it’s a few hundred that’s ridiculously significant.

  7. I am wondering about people on plant based diets; would these amazing plants or extracts that you’ve mentioned-amla, curcumin, green tea, etc. still have a good affect on people already eating a plant based diet. Also, I wonder if these benefits continue after a long period of continued use. Does anyone know?

    1. Richard, as an educated guess, I’d say that yes, adding plant extracts like green tea, turmeric & amla to a WFPB diet would enhance the health benefits. These benefits should continue for as long as you take them.

    2. Richard:I agree with Julie. Consider the examples you’ve given:
      Amla: Amal evidently has more antioxidants than anything else humans consume except dragon’s blood, which is not readily available and has some bad properties. I think there’s a video by Dr Greger that says that there’s no upper limit of daily antioxidant dose as long as they come from whole-food sources.
      the other two: Some of the beneficial compounds in these food are fully or nearly unique. EGCG is found in significant amounts only in tea (green and white). To the best of my knowledge, the only plants that contain curcumin are turmeric and ginger and the the content of curcumin in ginger is insignificant compared to that in turmeric.

      1. I think cumins got a little curcumin. today the focus is on curcumin. but curry eaters get lots of other stuff from various spices. Plants are loaded with all sorts. The idea isnt to find the magic missing food, rather mix it up and get a lot of colorfull spicey whole foods. You need that symphony in you. Its nice to listen to Zamfir’s pan flute for a little treat once in a while but give me Mahler for a steady diet. heh

        seems to me that Dr. G is saying that supplements may have hidden downsides that whole foods do not. Someday when a lot more studies are done we may know differently but for now, we know that WFs work. One possible danger with supplements is becoming reliant on them to compensate for poor diet. that is what certain (my) family members are doing with their drugs. It is a slippery slope

        sorry, one more wise thought..about beer (which is proof that there is a god and that he loves us) and spirits. You know for centuries folks made beer and wine and nobody got hurt (too much)…then somebody figured out how to extract alcohol and look at the consequence of that.

  8. Hello doc.

    A family member has type 2 diabetes and has been able to lose substantial weight on a WFPB diet (more than 30 pounds). However, he’s reached a plateau and is still overweight. We suspect the insulin to be keeping him from losing further weight and getting rid of his condition, but he’s afraid of decreasing insulin too much (he already cut all his doses in half, and is now at 15 units, 4 times a day). I’m afraid he’s stuck in that cycle, and that the meds might eventually harm his health in the long run. Do you have any ideas on what could be our next step? Doctors where we live don’t seem to be helpful.

    ps: he was able to stop relying on much of his medication already, but he is also wondering if it will ever be safe to get off an ACE inhibitor (ramipril) prescribed to prevent kidney damage.

    Thank you so much for any info, hints, help.

    1. I’m sure no doctor, but from my own experience with reversing diabetes, I have to be totally whole food vegan and keep my fat intake under 10% of the daily total (which means no oils or anything processed), in order to keep my blood sugars in a healthy range. Lots of complex carbs help too, despite what I was told for years. (In fact when I switched to a high carb WFPB diet, my doctor warned me I was asking for an increase of medication!!!) If I don’t stay in that range, the numbers creep up.

    2. First, what Charzie said…also I too plateaued. Then I replaced about 1/3 of my starch foods with more green leafy’s and cruciferous veg. That did the trick. Also, for me, I wait to eat the final meal until a half hour before bed. otherwise I wake up hungry at 2 am. works for me

      My main meals are chickpea curry (now improved with extra turmeric!) for breakfast, a bean burger wrap with chopped rocket/kale/spinach etc and turmeric for lunch, and at night a steamed veg medley with…yep, turmurmeric. probably 4 to 5 times a week.

      1. I eat chickpea cruciferous curry every day too. I don’t know if this fits your plan, but one thing I like to do to make a WFPB curry “sauce” is to blend about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chickpeas with my immersion blender or in my little 2-cup electric blender, which makes it “sauce” and gives it a nice creamy texture. This dish is also a huge hit with my meat-eating friends.

          1. Not sure, but yeah it is good. :) I like it creamy, but of course without the dairy or oils. Let us know how it goes! Now I’m getting hungry!

    3. Is your family member with type 2 diabetes exercising, stretching resistance and aerobic exercise daily? a great boon to health and weight loss and blood sugars. Meditation to reduce stress and cortisol may also healp. Be sure to eat plenty of beans, remember they help a lot with blood sugar control also.

    4. Here comes another “WFPB” spammer. Let me get this straight, we humans have been eating plants, vegetables, fruit diets since thousands of years probably even before “ABCD” was invented. So you don’t have to name the diet every few days…

  9. Since the focus is on WHOLE PLANT foods, I find it rather disconcerting that studies always focus on an extract or specific element of the whole food. Though I guess it’s a lot easier to get people to pop a pill than utilize an ingredient, we know from past efforts that often the single extract doesn’t have the full benefit of the food with all it’s complementary components. How do we equate turmeric with curcumin…or vice-versa?

    1. in the abstract above they make the following unsupported statement: The delivery of significant concentrations of biologically active free curcuminoids (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) at the target tissues has always been regarded as a major limitation for the efficacy of curcumin.

      OK but is crossing the blood/brain barrier a prime goal for all of us? I would first like to see the study that shows forcing more curcumin into the brain is really a good treatment for everyone. Moving more curcumin into the brain can be done, no doubt. Acetylating morphine facilitates crossing the blood/brain barrier…but is that really a good thing?

      Then they should show that their product is better than curcumin in a meal with black pepper.

      Pysch MD makes thoughtful posts for which i have a high regard…. and I’ve seen his other ones regarding the food grade curcumin formulation. Maybe I am all wet but in this case I will be a little more cautious before dosing with supplements. If you just can’t stand the taste of turmeric in your meals then maybe they are an option to consider.

        1. Good article … this answers a lot of the lingering questions I previously had about the bioavailability of curcumin. Thanks for sharing!

        2. “While chemotherapy remains a highly successful weapon to treat cancer, it is often associated with limitations and major side effects.” Uh oh, theres goes my BS alarm again.

          You’re the expert, but a lotta guys might have looked at the unexpected side effect of overloading with a souped up turmeric extract (magnetic nanoformula?!) before assuming a priori that higher levels are therapeutic. Do i recall correctly that some lung cancer patients were killed by overdoses of vitamin A?

          I read that paper…I advise anyone thinking about pumping curcumin or any “nanoformulation” combining stuff like cyclodextrins, magnets and who know what else to read that paper carefully because I think PyschMD is misinterpreting the data and the conclusions. To me this is a billboard pushing for accepting new drugs made from active components in whole foods. The goal is to get buy in from the FDA. Read and think.

          1. Actually you are missing the point of my posting that study. What I took away from that report is that curcumin has the potential to treat a variety of cancers IF it can reach the target tissues. It is highly unlikely, and in fact has been shown, that simple dietary ingestion, while certainly beneficial as a preventative measure with respect to many health issues, does not remain in the blood in sufficient quantities for an adequate length of time to be taken up by target tissues in sufficient amounts to actually destroy the cancer. If it did their wouldn’t be over 9000 studies attempting to improve upon the native product. What those 9000 studies also show is that the compound is extremely safe, even in doses far beyond what any rational person would ever ingest. The vast majority of published studies employ some sort of extract or standardized form of curcumin and, aside from the occasional GI complaints, no significant toxicity has been reported.

            1. Turmeric is good for Tardive dyskinesia brought on by psychiatric medication because of its large manganese content. Instead of using Cogentin you surely will use Manganese. Cogentin numbs the jaw at cost to the patient. You surely will know the medicine you use everyday are very dangerous. You surely based on this post alone will consider using Manganese for side effects. It is in your book to use Manganese for side effects. You surely will consider it. You know Manganese is superior to Cogentin. You know Cogentin is the only medication you have for side effects. You know patients on Cogentin have to have their white blood cell counts done biweekly. You know psychiatry no longer does the bi weekly test. You have the evidence you should use Manganese instead. You know patients could die on Cogentin. Perhaps those 9,000 studies all suggest Manganese or Turmeric makes the side effects of psychiatric medication go away.

    2. “How do we equate turmeric with curcumin…or vice-versa?”

      Curcumin is only averaging 3.14% by weight so you need a lot of turmeric to reach equivalent curcumin dosages.

      The other problem is bioavailability – the Longvida and CurcuWin formulations seem to posses the best bioavalability /pharmakinetic values.

      That being said, I use both turmeric as a spice but also take occasionally Curcumin 95/Longvida/Curcuwin/Meriva extracts to boost plasma levels.

  10. I’m a little confused. You say it reduces fatty acids in the blood, but that last study you show says it had no affect of lipid profiles. Aren’t those things contradictory?

  11. I’ve mentioned CurQfen brand supplement in previous discussions. I was impressed by their bioavailability study and now take it daily. Since the study is protected, ie. not free, I can’t provide a link, but below is a copy of the abstract:

    “A B S T R A C T

    The delivery of significant concentrations of biologically active free curcuminoids (curcumin,

    demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) at the target tissues has always been regarded

    as a major limitation for the efficacy of curcumin. Herein we report the blood–brainbarrier

    permeability, tissue distribution and enhanced bioavailability of free curcuminoids

    following the oral administration of a food grade curcumin formulation in comparison with

    the standardized native curcumin, for the first time. UPLC-ESI-MS/MS analyses of postadministration

    tissue samples ofWistar rats (200 mg/kg body weight) demonstrated significant

    (p < 0.001) enhancement in plasma bioavailability (25-fold), in vivo stability and blood–brainbarrier

    permeability as evidenced from the tissue distribution of free curcuminoids at, (ng/

    g), brain (343 ± 64.7), heart (391.7 ± 102.5), liver (445.52 ± 83), kidney (240.1 ± 47.2), and spleen

    (229.72 ± 42.2), with extended elimination half-life of 3 to 4 h. Standard curcumin, on the

    other hand, detected only 1.4 ± 0.8 ng/g of curcumin in the brain tissues.

    © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd."

    1. Psych MD: I took your advice several months ago and started CurQfen. Like you say, the research study sounds great but was done on rats. I still wonder if it has the same effect on humans. Guess we’ll never know until new research shows for sure. Until then, I guess i’ll stick with the CurQfen. Thanks for pointing this out to me several months ago.

        1. Yes, the study in humans does sound impressive. Thanks for pointing it out. In addition to the CurQfen, I do also use regular ground turmeric in small amounts in my cooking in order to “cover all bases” in case the whole food synergism is important. Like you found out, the turmeric is very inexpensive. I buy mine at a local Indian grocery store.

            1. Have you explored the possibility that Opium contains Bromine as its active ingredient? When people take Iodine, they turn purple as the bromine is released. Dr. Brownstein said everyone he has tested for Iodine deficiency has bromine stored in their body. Perhaps this was from their bread. Or perhaps they were on opium, which could have bromine in it. The Bromine is coming from somewhere. I am sure many of your patients are in deep and very real pain. Iodine cured my pain without my needing opium. I am grateful to Iodine. I would like to praise Iodine. I would like to apologize to Iodine. Perhaps the halides cure pain. Perhaps very tall mountainous species of plants have to make do without Iodine. I wonder if Echinacea cures pain, for this reason.

            2. Seems like a fair questions from Matthew. Do you work for CurQfen, or more specifically, Spiceuticals, the maker of CurQfen? Or do you have a financial interest in CurQfen or Spiceuticals? A ‘yes’ answer is not necessarily a negative in my mind. The CurQfen research appears solid and I welcome individuals putting forth informed points of view even where they have a financial interest, as long as they disclose their interests. I’ve been using CurQfen since you recommended it. Thank you.

                  1. And just to be clear I have no affiliation with CurQfen. However I did run my name through Dollars for Docs and found that I had been credited with $6500 in remuneration. I’m not sure who is doing the accounting but it is quite creative. eg. I received a lunch from Sunovion reportedly worth $420. I ordered “Asian Feast,” which is a delicious blend of vegetables and tofu. Apparently it was more exotic than I realized.

                    1. Thanks, again, Psych MD. You’re earlier answer completely satisfied my question. I appreciate your further disclosure, and I hope I have not made you feel like you have to come clean on every little interaction you have with vendors.

      1. I was at WinCo a few days ago buying some bulk oat bran, cocoa, and various seeds and I noticed the curry powder. I filled my plastic baggie with a what seemed like a goodly amount, having no idea how much it would cost. I go to check only to find that it cost all of 75 cents. I tried it when I got home and it tasted great. I then went on the WinCo website and looked up the ingredients: Coriander, fenugreek, tumeric, cumin, salt, ginger, mustard, red pepper, anise and oil of cassia. I still rely on the CurQfen for a consistent, clinically relevant level but every little bit helps.

          1. I wasn’t familiar with cassia so I looked it up. It is Chinese cinnamon. If you go to Pub Med and search cassia oil you’ll find 900 studies, looking at everything from inflammation to “sexual dysfunction in aged rats.” It appears to be yet another versatile medicinal spice.

            1. Cassia, now known as Senna, is a laxative. Cinnamomum cassia is a diffierent plant. You are wrong. Vitamin C in large doses is the ideal laxative. Vitamin C deficiencies are common. Perhaps Iron is also an important Vitamin. You should correct your mistake.

  12. I really wish I liked the flavor of Turmeric better. I like it well enough in a curry, but I find it’s flavor a little too prominent and not particularly pleasant in tomato sauces at a tsp quantity.

    1. I used to be that way too. I started combining with a little cumin, garlic, sweet onion. I think starting out with 1/4 teaspoon for a week or so then gradually build up…its for the long haul. My wife puts turmeric in caps and has 2 or more with meals.

      also, I find cooked turmeric as in a curry is much tastier that just adding on top of precooked veg.

        1. I love turmeric. It got rid of a really ugly growth on my face. (I quit treating when it got very small, it grew back and then I hit it every day for 2 months and now it is history). I make soap with turmeric and our skins are freer of old skin stuff. Turmeric is the stuff. Good luck Joe

          1. Interesting. I guess I’d love it too if it removed a growth from my skin How do you make soap with it, and do you go around smelling of Turmeric?

            1. I’ve heard that I smell like garlic sometimes. but so does she!

              I make the soap the usual way and add turmeric (5% by weight of oil) at the first trace (thickening) It softens the soap and only get absorbed by the baddies. That is, no skin staining but the “thing” turned deep orange. isnt that interesting in itself? Selective uptake?

      1. BTW, I am making a tomato sauce now and I threw in some black pepper, mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds with a splash of red wine and it has sweetened the aroma of sauce. I always put in garlic, although, I usually wait until about 15 minutes before serving along with the greens, mushrooms and chili peppers so as not to lose those lovely garlic volatile components.

        1. You probly know this…If you use canned toms you might try a matchhead’s worth of baking soda…really sweetens up to my taste. I love tomato sauce ! did you put turmeric too? heh I just talked my wife into making some!

          1. No, I did not know that. I will give it a try. Oh yes, a teaspoons worth of turmeric. Next time I will put in less. From one of Dr. Greger’s videos it, seemed as if a little black pepper goes a long way to keeping the turmeric levels high by blocking the liver’s ability to filter it out of circulation so a little bit can go a long way.

    2. I know the new trend for dieting is to avoid milk, but we in India have been having Turmeric with milk since thousands of years ago. It is said that turmeric gets turned into some kind of nano-particles when used with milk and absorption is increased. I am not a doctor and just saying what I heard, so better some expert pick this up.

      1. I never had the golden milk. It looks interesting. Thank you for sharing. I have enjoyed Bhang and Lassi. I suppose one could use almond or coconut milk as a substitute for cows milk, although, I’m not sure coconut milk is any better for one’s health due to high saturated fat (SF) content, and it wouldn’t be the same. I was always fond of the creamy texture of milk. I gave up drinking milk long ago, but I enjoyed yogurt almost until I went vegan.

  13. Can anyone tell me if turmeric supplements are anything more than just turmeric powder you buy in grocery stores stuffed into little capsules? Sorry for my ignorance! But thanks for an honest answer.

    1. Couldn’t say, although, you can purchase gelatin capsules and turmeric in bulk from an Indian grocery, and save yourself the cost while ensuring that you know what you are getting in your capsules.

    2. There’s a whole range of different turmeric formulas you can buy in capsule form. Some are just the powdered root in bottles or capsules but many aren’t. For example, they may have additional ingredients which supposedly enhance the bioavailability of turmeric. Try going to iherb and typing turmeric in the search box to see the range available.

    3. Take normal turmeric and add some black pepper. Lo and Behold, you have very “bioavailable” turmeric supplement!. For supplements that just sell “Curcumin”, it is achieved by boiling Turmeric a lot. I would advise not to use supplement and use simple turmeric instead as new novel compounds are found in turmeric that may have additional benefits.

  14. Not to pop anyone’s balloons here, . . .but Nutrition Facts posted “miraculous” diabetes reversal information re: research “showing” that amla – Indian goosberries – lowered blood sugars in diabetics as well. The “research” showed that the berries worked just as well as metformin using 1/4-1/2 tsp. Well my diabetic friend bought some amla and started taking it. No difference in his blood sugars. No results, nada. He’s been taking it for months now. So we went back to Dr. Greger’s video on amla and diabetes. Low and behold there were numerous other people who also experienced no improvement with amla.
    So let me suggest that if you try turmeric for blood sugar control, why don’t you post your results here and share with us all what happened.
    Don’t get me wrong – I love this site. But I am now harboring some very healthy skepticism.

    1. Healthy scepticism is a good thing but anecdotal reports can be misleading. First there is individual variability to consider. In trials only the average results are usually reported and there may well have been a wide range of individual results experienced by the test subjects. Secondly, it is not always clear if the people providing the anecdotal reports followed the intervention protocol exactly. For example, did they use powdered Amla fruit as used in the study cited or did they use the extracts widely sold in the West, and did they use the same dosage as in the study, and take it daily?

      Another issue is that the study was conducted, it appears, in Pakistan so there may be dietary and lifestyle interactions to consider. The test subjects’ diet was likely to have been quite different to that of people in the US, for example, and this may have had an effect. Finally, I understand that there are some differences between the fruits of different Amla cultivars which could affect results.

      But I think the evidence for Amla having a significant effect on diabetes is still fairly weak at this stage and some scepticism is appropriate. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t dismiss the reported effects. The review below contains a useful summary f the evidence to 2012.

    2. For what it’s worth, I tried amla powder about a year ago and it didn’t seem to do anything for my blood sugar. I was eating high fat Paleo at the time. I’ve been wfpb no oil for about 3 months now. Recently a got some new amla powder from MountainRose.com and started taking a teaspoon in my morning smoothie. It did help with my blood sugar, a bit. This week I added another teaspoon just before dinner and suddenly my blood sugar is normal, as in fasting at 84 instead of 99, three days in a row. Taking two teaspoons of this particular amla powder dropped my fast blood glucose by roughly 15 points. I’m planning to cut back on the amount, but continue taking it twice a day and see how little I can take to keep my blood sugar low. This just feels like cheating, if you know what I mean.

    3. Ginger has good results for high blood sugar. “In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12%” “From 11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger (No. 5 is Insane)” Perhaps Thiamine is the right medicine for diabetes. Vanadium and Chromium are believed to be useful for blood sugar. Sunflower seeds have some effect in diabetes in animal models. Amla was said to be very good for high blood lipids. I think Niacin is the right vitamin for high blood lipids. Are there foods with very high Niacin? They would be truly raw foods. Even nuts are cooked. Perhaps amla truly invokes youth and is good for the liver? I had some spoonfuls of Amla and felt more youthful. It is as sweet as Lead.

    4. I was very sick with paranoid schizophrenia. Then I picked up an article by Dr. Prousky and Dr. Hoffer on the use of vitamins in mental illness. They said Niacin, in large doses, of two grams or more (may cause nausea) can treat mental illness. They said that pellagra, a Niacin deficiency, is identical to schizophrenia. They said many people with mental illness go on to recover, to have a family, to pay income tax, on Niacin. Dr. Hoffer showed me that I have a milk allergy. (the shiners under my eyes). He showed me that I had a zinc deficiency (the lines in my nails). He showed me that Niacin would open up my mind. Just two grams a day. The niacin adsorbs excess oxidized adrenaline and returns it back as adrenaline. Perhaps I have a nitrogen deficiency, it’s possible, amino acids are a poor source of nitrogen. I was sleeping 12 hours a day and more. I think that was a sodium deficiency. The vitamins work well. Amla is not the perfect treatment for mental illness. Perhaps yeast extract is.

    5. Too bad it didn’t work for you but research never said it will work for everyone. Also just adding supplement is not going to do it! He needs to change lifestyle, get some exercise, eat less sugar etc. Amla is not a miracle fix for the sugar cravings.

      1. This is Ginger – My friend follows Campbell, McDougall, Esselstyne, Barnard, et.al, with a WFPB diet, low fat and has for the last 6 years. This diet/lifestyle change did improve his diabetes. He even went and got the actual research so that he could follow the amounts used by the researchers. He is not a flake and has the common sense to follow the good advice of Dr. G.’s. I’m sorry you chose to assume he did not take care of his health for that is not the case here.
        I was just posting his results here so that others could benefit from this/his experience. And to see if other’s had the same or similar experience. The failure of “product” is just as important as a success for informational reasons.

        1. Well if anecdotal evidence is all we follow, I have several to follow right here in India. My mother in law used to have sugar in 200s even with metformin twice a day, after amla and diet/exercise intervention, her sugar is now in normal range (she continues with metformin for now). Does that mean this evidence can be applied universally ?? NO!

  15. This 2013 review of curcumin and diabetes may also be of interest

    And of course to prevent or delay progression to Type 2 Diabetes, the NIH recommend eating more vegetables and fruits and limiting fat intake. That sounds a lot like the advice in this video about (WFPB) vegetarian and “vegan” diets reducing the risk of diabetes.

  16. Sunflower seeds, rich in thiamine, might be a cure to diabetes in a mouse model. “Treatment with the Helianthus annus extract significantly (p<0.05) reduced elevated blood level of Glucose, Urea, Creatinine, Aspartate aminotransferase…" Diabetes is very much like beriberi disease, a thiamine deficiency; the two overlap if are not identical. Perhaps for diabetes you would consider taking thiamine or sunflower seeds.
    From "Effect of aqueous extract of Helianthus annus on some biochemical parameters in alloxan-induced diabetic rats" by Luka Carrol Domkat, Mohammed Abdulrashid and Saleh Bitrus in J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2012, 2 (1): 186-191.

  17. Some how the plain language Dr.Greger used at the end was more convincing than all the scientific data !
    After a year and a few months of discovering NF, and going with the WFPB diet I realized that I have not had the sugar spikes and insulin sensitivity problem for a while. It is amazing not to have that irritability and tiredness after eating anymore.

    Turmeric goes quite well with Cauliflower by the way, “fry” with a little stock(no oil), then add the spices including turmeric(garlic optional) and coriander , serve with Basmati rice with a little lemon juice squeezed over it (instead of yogurt). For some reason Cauliflower is very filling and you won’t feel hungry for quite a while. I believe it’s a plant based source for omega-3 as well.
    But try not to use your white dishes, because they’ll get stained. I use my pastel colored dishes instead.

  18. I am wondering, like many of the people above, how much dried turmeric does a 250 mg extract equal, and the same for fresh turmeric. I realize fresh and dried turmeric will vary, but if I would like to find out approximately.

    Also, besides black pepper, what other foods and spices are beneficial to have with turmeric, I am especially interested in Grapefruit juice.

  19. This has nothing to do with the video (have not watched yet), but is just something I’m wondering about and a cursory search on the site doesn’t seem to be pulling anything up. There’s some (limited?) evidence suggesting having a higher basal metabolic rate is associated with higher mortality. Now, maybe it’s just correlation: maybe it’s just like a drop in cholesterol levels can reflect the fact that someone has adopted a healthier diet or it can also be something that happens in the later stages of cancer. But as someone that weighs 108 lbs. at 5’4″, eats about 2500 calories a day (sometimes more), and maintains my weight effortlessly despite not being very active, it’s something I’m wondering about. Could you address this sometime? Is having a high BMR bad in and of itself, or does it depend on circumstances like with low cholesterol levels, in that it depends what’s causing it?

    1. There is certainly some evidence that BMR is linked to mortality. However, the whole issue is not simple and, unless you have had the appropriate tests, your assumption that you have a high BMR may well be wrong. Wikipedia has a useful article on BMR. Other factors may be better explanations for your personal situation.

      Dietary composition is important. In the China Study, for example, Campbell noted that Chinese office workers (ie largely sedentary like most Americans) consumed 30% more calories than Americans yet weighed 20% less. He argues that it is largely because the (then) Chinese diet low in protein and low in fat shifts conversion of surplus calories away from body fat to body heat (and notes that experiments with lab animals confirmed this dietary effect).

      But even if you eat a high fat diet, there may be something about the specific components of it that affect weight gain/loss

      Also, while you say that you are not very active, it may be that you have a relatively high level of non-exercise activity – apparently being a fidget helps resist weight gain.

      I am not sure how relevant any of this is to your personal circumstances but thank you for asking an interesting question.

      1. Thank you! Currently, my diet tends around 70/20/10 (carbs/protein/fat), but sometimes even shifts to as much as 30% fat or so. 100% vegan, 95+% whole foods (very occasional junk food, oil, etc.). I don’t think I fidget a lot, but I notice on days I eat less I have less energy, whereas if I’m eating 2500 calories or more I have a natural desire to move more (like start dancing while doing the dishes or something, haha).

        I had thought thermogenesis and BMR would be connected, or the same measurement (a measurement of how much energy is being burned off). I don’t really know a whole lot about this stuff, though, so I’ll do more reading on it and will check out the Wikipedia article.

        Also worth noting, I do get a good bit of calories from nuts and seeds sometimes, and Greger says the body doesn’t always fully utilize all the calories from those, so that could be playing a minor role, too. Cron-o-Meter might say I’m getting 2500 calories, but maybe some of those aren’t useable?

        Thanks for the response, and maybe the doc will have more info to share with us sometime! :)

  20. Any idea where the fat goes if it isn’t circulating in the blood? Is it being passed in stools or disappearing into another dimension?

    1. I see no sign in the study that they are doing a postprandial measurement. Serum FFAs and triglycerides at chronically elevated levels are basically going to be due to altered metabolism. When levels are high the processes that should ‘normally’ clear the fat out of the bloodstream have insufficient ‘demand’ meaning that clearance can come about by processes at levels that the body doesn’t normally ‘want’ to do under the circumstances, such as excessive absorption into muscle tissue, which in turn has further metabolic problems as the muscle tissue changes its response to insulin. Through this kind of mechanism, curcurminoids would be hypothesized to help clear the fat out of the bloodstream by increasing the ‘demand’ of a comparatively safe pathway.

      That’s what you’ll find in the paper. Specifically, for the effect on FFAs, they note that in previous work with rats, they’ve found that curcurminoids do a number of things that would help clear serum FFAs out; in muscle cells, they downregulate fat synthesis, promote fat oxidation, and increase uptake of FFAs, and; in the liver, acyl-CoA oxidase activity is increased, among other changes, promoting the oxidation of fat as well. The overall picture seems to be that the fat is more likely to be burned rather than being allowed to remain in the bloodstream at such high levels.

  21. I did an experiment with tumeric by making a paste and using as a compress on a “growth” on my skin. I did this for two nights and on the third day the growth had disappeared. This is just a very non-scientific test I did but I thought, as a commenter said below, what can’t tumeric do. I did have the stain to deal with for a few days though.

  22. Off topic: Many people seem to be recommending fermented food such as sauerkraut as a way of improving our gut flora, but there is very little on this topic here. Is there just not much research on fermented food? I guess Big Sauerkraut doesn’t have much money for research yet? ;)

    1. As I understand it, there isn’t much research on this … but, yes, there is lots of internet hype. Most of the people hyping these foods, unfortunately, seem to be the very same people on the coconut oil, low carb and every other dietary magic bullet bandwagons. So the credibility of people promoting these foods is a little suspect – at least in in my personal opinion – and some caution is warranted. Also, in the end, these are all heavily processed foods not fresh whole foods .You have to decide if you want to eat processed foods.

      Further, I’ve seen previous studies linking kim-chi and other Asian pickled/fermented vegetables with the high rates of gastric cancer seen in some Asian communities. It has been suggested that this is due to the high sodium content of these foods. Sauerkraut is also made with salt so caution may be appropriate especially since most Americans already consume too much sodium.


      1. I have had to take antibiotics many times (compromised immune system due to chemo), and I have been making my own sauerkraut. And I am an Australian with low BP, so I should be ok with a little sodium ;)

        1. I should have known that, with a name like Bruce, you were an Aussie! I live in Queensland myself although I’m actually a recycled Pom.

          Anyway good luck to you. You might find some of Dr G’s other videos helpful too eg

  23. I am trying to buy cucurmin powder in bulk form but the only thing that comes up is turmeric powder, or cucurmin supplements. does anyone have a source to buy curcumin powder?

  24. I do not understand. In the book he says curcumin with added pepper enhances the effect by 2,000 %, and you should add pepper to your spice, then he states that when pepper and curcumin are combined in a supplement, it is like getting 900 cups worth of the spice. Why is it ok with a spice and not with a supplement?

  25. I’m trying to avoid pharmaceuticals to control my diabetes. Using cinnamon and aloe, I was able to keep my A1C between 5.9 and 6.1 for a full year. Last August I had a roto-router job on a carotid artery… which resulted in the return a-fib (CABGX3 in Oct 2013). Also, without any dietary changes, my A1C has since risen to 6.7 My INR is 2.1 using 6 mg Warfarin daily.

    To give Tumeric/Curcumin a whirl, I purchased capsules —each containing 450 mg Turmeric + 50 mg Turmeric Extract (standardized to contain 95% Curcuminoids)— with the intention of starting with 2/day (with black pepper) until I had another A1C test. T·H·E·N… I checked (online) to see if there would be a problem taking Curcumin with Warfarin. Unfortunately… there seems to be a strong interaction between the Curcumin and Warfarin… and the thought of bleeding out is kinda scary.

    Neither my #1 or cardiologist knows anything about Tumeric — I sent links to this video to both. Unfortunately… they have typical Med School knowledge about nutrition and aren’t equipped to answer a critically important question:

    How many capsules should I take… and how soon after I begin should I have my INR checked?

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide. Unfortunately… I have been unable to find any hard numbers concerning how much to take… no less how much it would affect INR.

    P.S. I was warned about green stuff interacting with Warfarin… but nobody ever mentioned that pomegranates were highly problematic. Pomegranates are not green… and neither is tumeric.

  26. Regarding bioavailability of curcumin Consumer Lab (subscription required) published a large review (updated Aug 2015) on curcumin supplement products. Nothing on CurQFen or Spiceuticals, though. Consider this interesting comment “A more recent formulation, CurcuWin (OmniActive Health Technologies), combines curcumin with a hydrophilic carrier, making it more dispersible in water. Of all the formulations, CurcuWin appears to have the most dramatic effect on bioavailability. A study funded by OmniActive found that Curcuwin increased curcuminoid levels in the blood plasma 4,490% above that achieved with standard curcumin (Jager, Nutr J 2014). The study also evaluated BCM-95 and Meriva, finding them, respectively, to increase total curcuminoid blood levels 30% and 690% above that with standard curcumin. In the study, the supplements were taken with a low-fat meal, putting standard curcumin at a slight disadvantage as its absorption may be enhanced when taken with a fatty (oily) meal. None of the products in the current Review (above) contain this new formulation. Be aware that formulations which enhance bioavailability may need to be taken at correspondingly lower doses than standard curcumin due to potentially greater potency.”

    As stated by another commentator earlier, Dr. Gregor discourages curcumin extract supplements, advocating instead the whole plant turmeric root (page 354 of How Not to Die). I’m doing both.

    BTW, for anyone using or considering supplements check out Consumer Lab. It sorts through the scientific evidence around supplements much like NF to help you make a choice about which supplements, how much, and in what formulation to buy. It tests and reports on specific brands including how much of the active ingredients are actually present, as well as unwanted contamination and filth levels. It is a subscription service but I think it’s worth it.

    1. JS Baker: Thank you for this information! Also, I saw your other post about not getting a single cold this year. Awesome. Thank for sharing.

  27. Not at all. Despite how “Big Pharma” is portrayed, my interactions with them are overwhelmingly positive and their drugs are indispensible and life-saving. Last week I attended a dinner program presented by Otsuka. The speaker, a psychiatrist and professor from UCLA, gave a presentation on the treatment of schizophrenia using Abilify Maintenna, a once monthly injection. He had been one of the original investigators during the pre-launch trials. It was an informative, enjoyable two hours well-spent. And I had a nice meal.

  28. Regarding Turmeric, I have read your “How Not to Die” book and looked for a information/video on the subject of “Turmeric TEA” to determine if that would be an appropriate way to satisfy the daily requirement, but could not find any reference to this. Is turmeric tea a valid way to meet the daily requirement that you have suggested?

  29. Hi efelton1951. Thank you for your question. In this video, Boosting the Bioavailability of Curcumin, Dr Greger mentions that the best way to boost the absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, is to consume the whole turmeric root or powder. So making a tea with these two natural forms and adding black pepper is acceptable.

  30. may i ask, what is the recommended dose (mg) of curcumin for pre-diabetic patients. and, is there a specific brand you recommend? thanks so much! your video was very informative!

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