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+2 (Moderate Evidence)
- Turmeric is a common spice that may prevent actual relapses or inflammation in general when used in conjunction with standard medications for ulcerative colitis.
- Laboratory testing of turmeric shows significant activity in suppressing pathways of inflammation.
- Given that it is poorly absorbed and then rapidly degraded by the liver, turmeric is not likely to produce serious systemic side effects.
- Its poor absorption through the walls of the gut into the bloodstream increases the likelihood that it will continue to come into direct contact with both the inflamed tissues of the small and large intestine.
- The risk of side effects is low and drug interactions are unlikely.
- Because turmeric is poorly absorbed, and the small amount that is absorbed is then rapidly degraded in the liver, it does not reach levels in the blood stream that would be beneficial for other inflammatory conditions.
- There is a theoretical concern that turmeric could interact with medications that affect blood clotting. If this is a concern, do not use turmeric.
- Studies are limited, so future studies are needed to confirm the benefits.
- Turmeric can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating.
* *ADVISORY* *
Turmeric should be used in conjunction with, and not as a replacement for standard medical therapy. Theoretical concerns exist that it could cause an increased risk of bleeding in people taking certain medications. Therefore, turmeric should be stopped several weeks prior to any surgical procedure, and you should work with your medical provider if you take medications that affect blood clotting.
DOSAGE:For ulcerative colitis, take one gram twice daily with breakfast and dinner. Look for a high quality supplement; the turmeric used in clinical studies is not equivalent to that used in cooking.
CONCLUSION:Turmeric appears to be a reasonable addition to standard medical therapy for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Its use for centuries as a spice gives it an impressive safety record. If you do elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.
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