My “spicy” secret weapon against metabolic syndrome

The benefits of curcumin are practically common knowledge by now. I’ve written about it here many times. I also recommend it to almost all of my patients — for a number of reasons.

For one thing, curcumin is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory supplement. And that means it delivers benefits against practically every condition under the sun — diabetes, arthritis, even depression and gastric ulcers (just to name a few).

But it also does a lot more than that… which brings me to the study I’d like to tell you about today.

There’s some new research on a patented form of bioavailable curcumin. (You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of branded ingredients. In general, I find these kinds of products have a lot of solid science behind them.) It looks like this form of curcumin may have an impact on adiponectin levels in people with metabolic syndrome.

As you probably recall, metabolic syndrome is a precursor to diabetes and heart disease. Its main features are abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and out-of-control blood sugar and insulin levels.

Adiponectin is a hormone your body relies on to regulate hunger, fat storage, inflammation, and insulin release. Lean bodies produce an abundance of adiponectin, which maximizes your muscles’ ability to convert carbs into energy, increases metabolism and fat burning, and takes the edge off of your appetite.

As your weight climbs, however, adiponectin release dips. And this, in turn, contributes to the elevated risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease that accompanies obesity.

Which brings me to the good news. Data from this double-blind, placebo-controlled, eight-week trial showed that supplementing with 1,000 mg of bioavailable curcumin per day raised adiponectin by 68 percent. And it also lowered leptin levels by 20 percent. (In case you missed it, here’s a good refresher on how leptin levels affect your health.)

And these results turned up in less than two months.

Obviously, these are pretty incredible findings. But I want to remind you that, once again, you’re not going to get them from just any old curcumin supplement.

Standardized extracts of curcumin do work — but poor absorption and quick metabolism means you may not get curcumin’s full benefits. That’s why companies have invested so much research into creating new, more absorbable products that deliver all the goods in a form that your body can actually use.

And as this recent study shows, these scientific advances have been game-changing.

I’ve said before that the next generation of weight loss aids are going to focus on controlling key fat-burning, hunger-regulating hormones, like leptin and adiponectin. (For a more in-depth discussion of how these factors contribute to weight gain and loss, check out the March 2013 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. You can access the complete archives by subscribing today.)

There are a number of natural compounds that can help you to get your weight back in check — and keep it that way. And I’m glad to see that curcumin is set to become a star player in this arena. Though I can’t say I’m surprised.

In fact, curcumin plays a key role in a new diet plan I’m testing out on patients right now. I can’t wait to tell you more about it — but that’s a discussion for another day.

In the meantime, rest assured that curcumin has a place on my “Desert Island” supplement list for a reason. Many reasons, in fact. Which is why I recommend taking 500 mg (of a bioavailable form) every single day.