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Dig Dis Sci. 2009 Aug;54(8):1725-9. doi: 10.1007/s10620-008-0550-1. Epub 2008 Nov 26.

Effect of dietary turmeric on breath hydrogen.

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Department of Etiology and Pathogenesis, National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, 5-7-1, Fujishiro-dai, Suita, Osaka, 565-8565, Japan.


Turmeric is widely used in Indian cuisine. The main constituents of turmeric are curcumin and its analogues, which are well-known antioxidant compounds. In the present study, we hypothesized that turmeric in curry might increase bowel motility and activate hydrogen-producing bacterial flora in the colon, thereby increasing the concentration of breath hydrogen. Eight healthy subjects fasted for 12 h and ingested curry and rice with or without turmeric (turmeric knockout curry). Breath-hydrogen concentrations were analyzed every 15 min for 6 h by gas chromatography with a semiconductor detector. Curry with turmeric significantly increased the area under the curve of breath hydrogen and shortened small-bowel transit time, compared with curry not containing turmeric. These results suggested that dietary turmeric activated bowel motility and carbohydrate colonic fermentation.

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