Turmeric is widely used in Indian cuisine. The main constituents of turmeric are curcumin and its analogues, which are well-known antioxidant compounds.
In the present study, we hypothesized that turmeric in curry might increase bowel motility and activate hydrogen-producing bacterial flora in the colon, thereby increasing the concentration of breath hydrogen.
Eight healthy subjects fasted for 12 hours and ingested curry and rice with or without turmeric (turmeric knockout curry). Breath-hydrogen concentrations were analyzed every 15 min for 6 hours by gas chromatography with a semiconductor detector.
Curry with turmeric significantly increased the area under the curve of breath hydrogen and shortened small-bowel transit time, compared with curry not containing turmeric.
These results suggested that dietary turmeric activated bowel motility and carbohydrate colonic fermentation.
Source: Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Nov 26, 2008. [E-pub ahead of print] PMID: 19034660, by Shimouchi A, Nose K, Takaoka M, Hayashi H, Kondo T. Department of Etiology and Pathogenesis, National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Osaka; Department of Biosphere Sciences, Kobe College, Nishinomiya; Research Center of Health, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. [E-mail: