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Enriched Turmeric May Reduce Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women

New research published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry suggests that curcuminoid-enriched turmeric may reduce bone loss in target areas where postmenopausal women are most vulnerable.

Researchers at the University of Arizona tested the effects of two turmeric extracts, reported to be analogous to commercially available turmeric, on ovariectomized (OVX) rats. One extract contained 41% curcuminoids (turmeric-based compounds) while the other was enriched to 94% curcuminoids.

While the first extract showed no benefit on bone loss in OVX rats, the curcuminoid-enriched extract prevented loss of bone mineral density by 50%. What’s notable is where this prevention occurred: the trabecular bone. This bone, located near the hips (in the femur), is considered highly vulnerable to osteoporosis in cases of postmenopausal women.

“Some phytoestrogens…have been identified for evaluation as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy for preserving bone during menopause,” lead researcher Janet Funk, MD, told the Tucson Citizen. “But a botanical dietary supplement that would preserve bone without involving estrogen-receptor pathways might be a safer alternative for patients.”

The study was funded by grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements, according to the Tucson Citizen.