Fact-check: Turmeric is not the magic pill for weight loss

Fact-check: Turmeric is not the magic pill for weight loss

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Turmeric is not the magic pill for weight loss

There is no robust study to support the claims on social media about turmeric tea or supplements helping with fat loss or improving liver health. 

If a video on Instagram is to believed, turmeric, the spice that comes from the root of Curcuma longa plant, can help with targeted fat removal. Just like liposuction, a popular cosmetic procedure. “Studies show that turmeric helps you not gain more weight, logically it helps you lose it,” asserts the social media post. It also claims that turmeric can “help avoid expansion of adipose tissue, preventing blood flow to that same tissue, and cleanse your liver”.

First Check fact-checked the claims and here’s what we found: Turmeric’s primary bioactive substance, called curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Some studies have suggested that curcumin may have some effects on weight loss and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition where fat accumulates in the liver. However, the sample size was small and the study duration was fairly short. 

While there is ample interest and research on the subject, the scientific evidence, currently available, is not definite. There is no robust study to support the claims that turmeric, in the form of a tea or a supplement, can help with fat loss or improve liver health. 

“No tea or concoction can deliver healthy weight loss, if the diet is not balanced, wholesome and consumed in a calorie deficit according to individual goals,” says Debjani Gupta, a nutritionist based in Mumbai, India. “Such quick hacks can often cause gastric distress and severe allergic conditions,” she adds. 

There are published case reports of turmeric-induced liver injury, even in the case of relatively low doses of turmeric consumption. Side effects, such as allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, skin rash, diarrhea, and, in rare cases, liver damage or bleeding problems, have also been noted. 

Beware of misleading, unscientific health claims on social media. Consult qualified healthcare practitioners before trying any social media hacks for quick weight loss or improved liver health. 

If you would like First Check to fact-check any health-related claims, mail us at hello@firstcheck.in or WhatsApp us on +91 9311 223145.