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Curcumin may counter the effects of a high-fat diet.

Although inflammation is actually a part of our body's natural defense system, this response can often cause more harm than good. Internal swelling can make medical issues like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis all the more painful and destructive. It is for that reason that antihistamines and other anti-inflammatory compounds are so widely prescribed. Now, researchers are investigating the use of another substance with a demonstrated ability to counter this swelling: curcumin. This compound is the bioactive ingredient in turmeric and has been shown to possess anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among other benefits.

In the latest study, scientists from the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium sought to determine if taking curcumin supplements could prevent or at least lessen the internal inflammation that occurred after consuming a high-fat diet. With Thanksgiving just days away, the timing couldn't be more appropriate.

According to a study abstract available on PubMed, the researchers found that administering curcumin to obese mice before they partook in a fat-laden meal could limit the expression of a certain soluble protein linked to inflammation in stores of fat found in the body.

Further research is necessary to confirm this connection, but given the potential health benefits of curcumin supplements on their own, it may be worthwhile to incorporate this compound in your Thanksgiving festivities in some way. Research has shown this compound may boost brain health, block the spread of certain cancers and even enhance oral hygiene.

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