Eating turmeric each day was found to improve a gene that causes depression, asthma, eczema and cancer, according to research conducted by Dr. Michael Mosley of BBC's "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor."
The six-week study used 100 volunteers from northeast Great Britain. A third of them ate a teaspoon of turmeric each day with their food in whatever method they pleased. A third took supplement pills with the same amount of turmeric, and the rest took a placebo.
Scientists from University College, London analyzed blood samples from participants. No differences were found from the placebo group of the supplement group. Scientists think that something that happens through cooking, mixing and otherwise consuming turmeric makes some of the good ingredients easier to absorb.
Turmeric, a common bright yellow spice often used in South Asian cuisine, is one of 2016's trendiest ingredients. Not only are international flavors becoming popular, but the potential health benefits of turmeric have taken center stage. Its root has been used to make medicine, and has traditionally been used for a variety of ailments ranging from arthritis to ulcers to inflammatory bowel disease to high blood pressure to bronchitis.
People intrigued by turmeric's potential as a functional food made it a "rising star" when it came to functional food searches using Google. Interest in this term grew 56% from last November to January, and users were often looking for forms or recipes using the spice.
Manufacturers have been jumping on the turmeric trend as well. DolCas Biotech LLC announced this month that its BCM-95 high-potency turmeric extract now has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's generally recognized as safe status. Over the summer, Just C launched a line of Arya Curcumin+ beverages and gummy chews containing the super spice extract. And Spice Pharm's Golden Goddess Turmeric Tea may be in line to receive a major award at the SupplySide West conference next month.
But the turmeric craze is not just driven by new products. It's the ingredient that makes curries yellow and can be used in many different foods. Spice manufacturer McCormick, which produces turmeric for cooking, has gone on a promotional campaign to encourage consumers to try using it in their own kitchens as a component of everything from smoothies to sweet potatoes.