Well. I had an extremely long post with about 50 studies about turmeric/curcumin until my IPad refreshed and deleted it. However, I will not give up! I am, though, going to summarize what I had in my previous post and I can provide the specific references if you guys are interested. Here it goes.
Turmeric is a Indian spice with numerous reputed health benefits. Studies have confirmed most of these benefits. It has been shown to be powerfully anti-inflammatory (through a variety of mechanisms, Nf kappa beta, cox-2, etc), neuro-protective, protective against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and protective of mitochondria. It also seems to oppose estrogen, increase insulin sensitivity, improve glucose homeostasis, defend against cancer, activate detoxification pathways, increase brain neurogenesis and neuroplasticity through upregulated Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, act as an anti-oxidant, reduce lipid peroxides, increase glutathione levels, reduce expression of Nitric Oxide Synthase and neutralize existing nitric oxide radicals. Furthermore, studies have round that it is profoundly anti-depressant (as in as effective as Prozac without the side effects). It reduces the period of immobility caused in rats after the stress-swimming test and increases concentration of dopamine and noradrenaline in rats which have had it lowered from chronic stress.
All of these effects are very pro-Peat, are they not? One problem, however, is in the same studies that showed reduced period of immobility (learned helplessness), reduced stress and increased dopamine/noradrenaline also showed increased brain concentrations of serotonin. How is this possible? I thought serotonin promoted depression/inflammation but here, a strongly anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant herb which fights learned helplessness actually increases serotonin? I'm very confused. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!