Can Turmeric (Curcumin) Help with Weight Loss? | All You Need To Know

Turmeric, more scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a plant native to South Asia. Its most recognizable characteristic is its bright yellow-orange hue, but turmeric is much more than just a pretty spice. Research shows it has a rich history deeply rooted in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional healing practices. In recent years, scientific research has started to catch up, providing evidence for potential health benefits, which sparked other claims that linger around the subject of weight loss. 

Below we take a closer look at the scientific research surrounding turmeric and its potential impact on weight loss.

key findings

  • Studies show that turmeric consumption can improve BMIs, support weight loss, reduce body fat, hip, and waistline measurements.
  • Research shows that turmeric can encourage weight loss in several ways, including triggering thermogenesis and regulating sugar levels.
  • Human studies demonstrate that turmeric must be used with exercise, diet, and lifestyle interventions for weight loss.

What do Studies Say About Turmeric for Weight Loss?

According to research, turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin, which gives the plant its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties play a key role in weight loss, as we discuss in more detail below:

Increased inflammation and weight gain are closely linked, as it's been shown in trials that low-grade inflammation leads to insulin resistance. This increases sugar (glucose) in the blood. With increased sugar in the blood, it becomes difficult for our body to metabolize carbohydrates. This leads to fat storage and subsequent weight gain, a domino effect that will continue to slow down your body's ability to lose weight. 

Test-tube studies suggest that turmeric may suppress specific inflammatory markers that contribute to the development of obesity. This suppression of inflammation here encourages weight loss and prevents fat storage simultaneously.

Another clinical trial involving overweight participants taking curcumin paired with diet and lifestyle intervention for 30 days found positive results. At the end of the treatment, participants experienced weight loss, a reduction of body fat, hip circumference, and waistline measurements. 

BMIs were also improved, and the tolerability of the treatment was quite good. Overall the findings suggest that curcumin can be used in both weight management and weight loss.

How Does Turmeric Support Weight Loss?

While the trials we looked at earlier presented positive findings, it leaves us wondering more about how turmeric supports or triggers weight and fat loss. We expanded on its anti-inflammatory properties and how that comes into play, but with extensive research, I found that's not the only way turmeric can help with weight loss.

The golden spice has also been shown to support weight loss in the following ways:


Research shows that curcumin naturally triggers thermogenesis, a process that involves the body naturally generating heat. In the context of fat loss, thermogenesis plays a substantial role in the body's ability to burn calories and utilize stored fat for energy, resulting in weight loss or the elimination of fat.

Reducing fat tissue growth

According to a Tufts University study, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, reduced weight gain by suppressing the growth of fat tissue in mice fed a high-fat diet. Researchers found that the mice showed less blood vessel growth, meaning less fat growth. The mice also measured in with lower blood cholesterol levels and fat in the liver.

Regulating sugar levels and preventing fat storage

Animal studies suggest turmeric may also help regulate sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance. Obese rats who were given a daily supplementation of turmeric saw an improvement in their sugar levels paired with better insulin sensitivity. Regulated sugar levels lead to reduced cravings and unhealthy eating, which helps with weight loss, while reacting sensitively to insulin results in visceral fat, ensuring that excess fat is not stored in the body.

Balalancing bile production

Studies suggest that turmeric encourages a balance in bile production, which may help improve digestion, decreasing bloating and gas. This helps us take in the proper nutritional value of food, reducing factors that cause weight gain. Scientists also discovered that bile plays a role in balancing fat storage and energy expenditure. Weight gain is sometimes instigated by an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure, so a balance here will support weight loss.

Final Word

We looked at a lot of scientific data linked to the consumption of turmeric and weight loss, which involves test tube subjects, animals, and humans. A combination of positive results from here proves the ingredient can help with weight loss. I touched on several ways in which the ingredient can trigger weight loss or support processes linked to fat elimination. 

However, turmeric can't be used alone. Despite claims that tell us turmeric is a wonder weight loss ingredient that magically makes the pounds disappear all by itself, clinical evidence shows that the ingredient works best when combined with diet, exercise, and positive lifestyle changes. 

You can opt for fat burners or weight management supplements that feature turmeric in their formula alongside other more potent fat-burning ingredients or take an independent turmeric supplement depending on your weight loss goals. 

Turmeric also has a solid stance in improving different body processes that can carry us through our weight loss journey without inducing any serious side effects, which is quite a draw card as well. I suggest opting for a combination supplement for accelerated weight loss or an independent turmeric supplement for weight maintenance.

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About the Author

Sam is a passionate health and fitness enthusiast who has been interested in supplements, fitness, and wellness for over 10 years. He is the founder of Great Green Wall - the health and wellness brand and has completed multiple fitness certificates, including personal training and nutrition certifications. Sam has been working as a personal trainer for the past three years and is dedicated to helping his clients achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lifestyles. He believes that a healthy lifestyle is crucial to a happy and fulfilling life and is committed to sharing his knowledge and passion with others.

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