Category Archives: turmeric

BBC Grow Your Own Drugs: implausible and risky advice

I have been disappointed with some of the content of the BBC’s Grow Your Own Drugs: in particular, its discussion of the use of turmeric and willow bark. I have therefore submitted two complaints to the BBC, and will explain my concerns in this post.

The programme suggests a daily dose of turmeric tea for arthritis treatment: arguing the curcumin in this may be beneficial. Sadly, though, this treatment is simply implausible: curcumin’s bioavailability is poor and (even if black pepper can improve bioavailability) it seems impossible that a daily cuppa would give enough of a dose to do anything particularly useful. I pointed this out to the BBC, and they responded to me:

While we appreciate your concerns, it’s always been the case that James Wong doesn’t believe that natural remedies are a replacement for conventional medicine, and he reminds viewers of this during the series. The programme’s website also explains this

While I am delighted that the BBC make clear that implausible treatments shouldn’t be used to replace actual medicine, it is nonetheless unhelpful for them to suggest implausible treatments in the first place. I have therefore asked them to consider my complaint again. Continue reading

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Filed under curcumin, turmeric

Bad nutrition from Science: So What?

I was disappointed to some new, rather bad nutrition content on the UK Government’s Science: So What? So Everything website: there is some unfortunate discussion of turmeric, ginger and cancer. Continue reading

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Filed under curcumin, Science: So What?, turmeric

What’s The Excitement About Turmeric?

There have been lots of exciting news stories about turmeric over the last few years: from claims that it might slow Alzheimer’s Disease, to reducing the incidence of leukaemia, or being a potent weapon against several cancers and cystic fibrosis. There are the usual claims that it has general anti-inflammatory effects and modulates the immune system although the mechanisms are presently unclear. There is a good overview about curcumin and some of its principal researchers in a recent Scientific American: Spice Healer. Continue reading

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Filed under bioavailability, cancer, catherine collins, curcumin, Holford, patrick holford, supplements, turmeric