Benefits Of Turmeric For Weight Loss

What is turmeric

A member of the ginger family, turmeric is a native of Southeast Asia and is mainly farmed there for commercial purposes in India. Its rhizome, or underground stem, is utilised in traditional medicine and as a spice in food. Turmeric has historically been used in Eastern Asian medicinal systems including, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and other traditional Indian medical systems. To make powder, tablets, capsules, teas, and extracts, turmeric roots must first be dried. It is a typical spice that is present in curry powder. It has traditionally been used in India to treat ailments of the skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system. 

Today, turmeric is used as a nutritional supplement for various ailments, such as depression, liver illness, allergies, respiratory infections, arthritis, digestive issues, and many others. It is also used topically to treat skin disorders by acting as an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric contains a significant amount of curcumin, and curcuminoids are typically responsible for turmeric’s effects. Turmeric’s yellow hue is a result of curcumin. Dietary supplements manufactured from dried rhizomes of turmeric usually include a variety of curcuminoids. For skin disorders, turmeric can also be put into a paste. Although curcumin and turmeric have a wide range of intriguing biological actions, they are difficult to investigate since curcumin is unstable (it easily transforms into other compounds) and has a low bioavailability when taken orally (not much of it reaches the bloodstream).1

Does turmeric help you lose weight?

It has long been known that turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and health-enhancing qualities. One of turmeric’s primary anti-inflammatory and beneficial ingredients, curcumin, makes up to 2-8% of the majority of turmeric formulations. Curcumin is effective in boosting weight loss and lowering the prevalence of disorders linked to obesity. Adiponectin and leptin are the two hormones that are most frequently investigated that are secreted by adipose tissue. These hormones control hunger, regulate glucose metabolism, prevent insulin resistance (adiponectin), and promote fat accumulation (leptin). The balance of these hormones changes when obesity is present. Adipose tissue dysfunction, associated with persistent low-grade inflammation and raises one’s risk for cardiometabolic illness and other chronic diseases, happens when adiponectin levels are low, and leptin levels rise. 

An enormous amount of research is being done on phytochemicals like curcumin that have anti-inflammatory activity in light of the finding that obesity is characterised by persistent low-grade metabolic inflammation. Curcumin inhibits chronic inflammation by interacting with the white adipose tissue directly. It prevents the infiltration of macrophages and the activation of nuclear factor b (NF-B) brought on by inflammatory agents in adipose tissue. The potent proinflammatory adipokines tumour necrosis factor (TNF), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1(PAI-1) are all decreased by curcumin, and adiponectin, the main adipocyte-secreted anti-inflammatory protein, is increased. Additionally, curcumin has been shown to decrease adipocyte development and increase antioxidant activity. Curcumin lessens obesity and the harmful impacts of fat on the body through a variety of methods.2

Benefits of turmeric for weight loss

Metabolism-  The process of turning the food and liquids we consume into energy for the body is known as metabolism. Oxygen and calories work together to help release energy, which our body needs to function. 

The body still needs energy to perform all of its essential processes, even when we are at rest. These processes include breathing, growth, and cell repair in addition to blood circulation. The basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy required to carry out these tasks. Consider this to be your basic metabolism.

The following factors affect basal metabolism:

  • Body size and Composition- Larger people, especially those who have lean muscle mass, burn more calories while at rest
  • Sex- Men of the same weight and age often have greater muscle and a lower percentage of body fat than women. Men benefit since they burn more calories while at rest
  • Age- As we age, fat makes up a larger portion of our total body weight since our muscle repair slows down and our lean mass starts to decline. Age-related slowing of calorie burning follows

Your basal metabolic rate, together with your daily physical activity and thermogenesis (the body’s capacity to digest, absorb, and transport foods), which are the other elements that affect how many calories you burn and turmeric helps to boost metabolism. 3

When administered in high dosages, curcumin may not only help people lose weight but may also prevent them from gaining it back, slow the formation of fat tissue, and increase their body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Test-tube studies indicate that curcumin, also known as an anti-inflammatory, may aid in preventing the inflammatory indicators that contribute to obesity. The fact that these markers are also present in those who are overweight or obese suggests that curcumin may prevent weight gain.

How to use turmeric for weight loss

  • Turmeric golden milk latte- An immune system booster, a golden latte is not only delicious but also extremely healthy. The health advantages of turmeric are combined with those of ginger, cinnamon, and milk
  • Turmeric ginger tea- In addition to being loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory qualities, and a significant amount of vitamin C, this delectable beverage can be consumed hot or cold, according to your preference
  • Turmeric in form of spice- There are countless ways to utilise turmeric as a spice in food, and it is mostly used in curries
  • Turmeric supplements- There are many different turmeric supplements available on the market, and the majority of them contain black pepper to increase the piperine content of the curcumin

Other health benefits of turmeric

  • Natural anti-inflammatory compound- Inflammation is quite significant. It aids in warding off outside intruders and aids in body damage healing. Although short-term, acute inflammation is advantageous, it can be problematic if it persists and starts to destroy your body’s tissue. Chronic low-level inflammation can contribute to several illnesses and ailments like heart disease, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric can have a significant role in both preventing and treating these illnesses by fighting chronic inflammation
  • Increased antioxidant capacity- Due to the chemical structure of curcumin, it is a powerful antioxidant that can combat free radicals. Additionally, research on animals and cells indicates that curcumin may inhibit the activity of other antioxidants
  • Boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor(BDNF)- Decreased BDNF protein levels have been associated with many prevalent brain conditions, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lower risk of heart disease- Curcumin enhances the endothelium and the lining of blood vessels, reduces the inflammation and oxidation and helps in improving heart condition
  • Help prevent cancer- Curcumin is a helpful herb in the treatment of cancer. It has been discovered to impact on cancer growth and development, help in the death of cancer cells, reduce angiogenesis and reduce metastasis
  • Help arthritis patients- Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps arthritis
  • Benefit against depression- Depression is also associated with decreasing amounts of BDNF and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain structure that functions in learning and memory. Serotonin and dopamine, two brain neurotransmitters, can be increased by curcumin4

Nutritional facts

Contains in one tablespoon of ground turmeric:

Calories: 29

Protein: 1 gm

Fibre: 2 gms

Carbohydrates: 6 gms

100 gms of fresh turmeric rhizomes contains:

Calcium: 8.2 mg

Phosphorous: 0.12 mg

Sodium: 0.06 mg

Magnesium: 0.19 mg

Potassium: 1.70 mg

Iron: 2.4 mg

Zinc: 22.9 mg5

Side effects and other concerns

The body’s ability to metabolise medicines is not considerably affected by dietary turmeric. However, some of the medications you are taking may be affected more or less by turmeric’s effects.

Up to 12 grams of curcumin, or around 1.4 mg per pound of body weight, may be used as a daily supplement. Anything more than that can result in side effects.

  • Acid reflux, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness, and upset stomach are mild side effects
  • Large doses of turmeric supplements can considerably raise the amount of oxalate in the urine, increasing the risk of kidney stone formation
  • If you have a bleeding issue, you should avoid turmeric because it thins the blood
  • Blood thinners, antidepressants, antibiotics, antihistamines, heart medication, and chemotherapy treatments are just a few of the drugs that turmeric might adversely interact with. Additionally, it may cause diabetic medicines to not work as intended and cause dangerously low blood sugar levels
  • Gallstones and acid reflux are just two of the digestive issues that turmeric can make worse
  • If you take iron supplements, you shouldn’t take turmeric since it inhibits iron absorption
  • While it is okay for pregnant or nursing women to consume foods with turmeric as a spice, they should avoid taking turmeric supplements. These supplements might increase uterine contractions and lead to issues6


Turmeric, commonly referred to as the “ Golden spice”, is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine and has been used in Ayurvedic treatment, or ancient Indian medicine, for thousands of years. The majority of turmeric’s health benefits are due to curcumin, a substance with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. Both turmeric and curcumin are generally regarded as safe.

Some studies suggest that consuming up to 8 grams of curcumin daily has low harm to one's health. However, some individuals who use high doses of this substance may develop negative side effects, including allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, skin rash, or diarrhoea.

People with bleeding disorders, diabetes, iron deficiency, and kidney stones should avoid turmeric supplements.

Turmeric is a popular spice associated with many benefits, including heart and brain health. While it holds promise for weight loss, more extensive human studies are needed before it can be recommended for this purpose.

Turmeric and its active compound curcumin are widely recognized as safe, but you should consult a health professional if you have any concerns.


  1. Turmeric [Internet]. NCCIH. [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  2. Bradford PG. Curcumin and obesity. Biofactors. 2013;39(1):78–87.
  3. 10 proven health benefits of turmeric and curcumin [Internet]. Healthline. 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  4. Dube P. Turmeric - benefits, nutritional value, weight loss & uses [Internet]. Blog - HealthifyMe. 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  5. What are the negative effects of turmeric? [Internet]. MedicineNet. [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
  6. Nutra D. Turmeric for weight loss: does curcumin help you lose weight? [Internet]. Divinity Nutra. 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 16]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Jaya Choudhary

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, MBA-HA, India

Jaya is a Dental surgeon with MBA in Hospital Administration. She has 2 years of
experience with exposure to both clinical and non-clinical work environments and a strong
passion for medical writing and educating the public about health and wellbeing.

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