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Turmeric Safely Regulates Molecules that Control Metabolism

In addition to turmeric's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, studies show that its natural compounds have beneficial effects on the proteins that control metabolism:

Table VII.9 mTOR and Metabolic Syndrome
What is mTOR?

Kinase enzyme involved in cell growth and metabolism. (vii.70)

How is mTOR involved in Metabolic Syndrome
How Can Turmeric Help?

Turmeric compounds block mTOR and its effects on metabolism:

  • ↓ Inflammation that can activate mTOR. (vii.70)
  • ↓ SREBP2 and prevents activation of HSCs in the liver. (vii.9)
Table VII.10: AMPK and Metabolic Syndrome
What is AMPK?

5'adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase. (vii.41)

How is AMPK involved in Metabolic Syndrome?
How Can Turmeric Help?

In muscle cells, turmeric compounds stimulate production of AMPK. This helps metabolic syndrome conditions by:

Table VII.11: PPAR-γ and Metabolic Syndrome
What is PPAR-γ?

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, a transcription factor protein. (vii.41)

How is PPAR-γ involved in Metabolic Syndrome

PPAR-γ regulates genes involved in fat and sugar metabolism, inflammatory immune response, metabolic conditions, and fat cell growth and function. (vii.38)

How Can Turmeric Help?

To date, most research suggests that turmeric and some of its compounds increase PPAR-γ levels. TZD drugs used to treat diabetes also stimulate PPAR-γ, which in turn increases adiponectin - a beneficial anti-obesity hormone. The benefits of promoting PPAR-γ include: (vii.1, 38, 40)

Turmeric and curcumin offer benefits similar to TZD drugs but without the adverse side effects of weight gain and heart disease. This may be because in fat cells curcumin and other turmeric compounds reduce the abnormally high expression of PPAR-γ. (vii.38)

Table VII.12: Effects of Individual Turmeric Compound on Metabolic Regulators
Turmeric Compounds Effect
Alpha-linolenic acid (vii.18, 36-37, 41)  
Ar-turmerone (vii.20, 37)    
Curcumin compounds (vii.37, 79)
Fisetin (vii.25, 79)    
Linoleic acid (vii.38-39)    
Quercetin (vii.25, 38, 41)  
Resveratrol (vii.27-28, 41)  
Whole turmeric extract (vii.37)    
In skeletal muscle and liver cells, not the hypothalamus section of the brain (which would have a negative effect). (vii.41, 49)
Although quercetin blocks PPAR-γ, once it's digested its metabolites stimulate PPAR-γ. (vii.38)

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