Learn why this magic ingredient should be added to every dog's food bowl
If you are wondering whether or not dogs can eat turmeric, how much to give, and what benefits it provides for dogs, this article has all of the answers and more.
Turmeric has a several other names, curcumin or curcuma, which comes from the Latin Curcuma Longa or pian jiang huan in Chinese.
It may be one of the oldest medicinal plants and is native to southern India. It loves high rainfall and temperatures from 20 - 30 C (68 to 86 F). Besides its medicinal benefit, it is commonly used in curries, drinks, and it’s what gives Indian meals their vibrant yellow hue.
There are many reasons why every dog should have turmeric in their diet, as its effects range from reducing inflammation, fighting infection and parasites, improving digestion, preventing stomach ulcers, and reducing cancer rates. In more than 20 years of using turmeric and including it as an ingredient in SoulFood, the certified organic, fermented multivitamin and organ support for dogs, I've seen many benefits of turmeric without any side effects.
Here are the top 10 reasons why a dog supplement containing turmeric should be in your dog's health and longevity program.
1. Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
In 1949, scientists confirmed that turmeric is a natural antibiotic. It has also been clinically proven to be an anti-inflammatory and has anti-parasitical properties, which in traditional medicine has been well known for millennia. (1)
2. Turmeric is effective in combating plaque buildup and gingivitis.
This is really exciting news because so many dogs suffer from gingivitis (gum inflammation) and the most commonly used rinse, chlorhexidine, is toxic.
3. Turmeric is good for the heart.
Scientists found that turmeric protects the heart from myocardial infarction. The cardiac muscle is one of the most hardworking muscles in the body and protecting it from unnecessary inflammation is the key to good health and longevity. (2)
4. Turmeric appears to help in the prevention of diabetes.
This one may be a real surprise for many. In my mind, diabetes is often triggered by a carbohydrate-based diet and getting rid of kibble is the most important step. However, if your dog's blood sugar levels have been close to abnormal, or if your dog's breed carries a genetic predisposition, adding turmeric may be beneficial. (3)
5. Turmeric seems to inhibit gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Generally, I'm opposed to animal testing, but a laboratory experiment with laboratory rats has proven that turmeric can protect them from ulcer formation. This is very good news because drug-based anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are known to cause ulcers. This is one of the biggest reasons why turmeric should always be used in place of chemical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain, arthritis, and injuries. (4)
6. Turmeric is known to reduce the chances of colon cancer.
Yes, that's correct! Numerous studies have shown that curcumin provides significant protection against colon cancer, a disease that affects both dogs and people. (5)
7. Turmeric reduces and slows down lymphoma.
I've seen many dogs with leukemia throughout my career. The conventional option for treatment is chemotherapy, however, considering the dramatic drop in the quality of life in dogs on chemotherapy due to the visits, injections, IV's, hospitalization, and treatment-related sickness, I would never take that route with my dog.
In contrast, I've personally seen some very promising results from turmeric, such as slowing down and reducing the growth of lymphatic cancers, such as leukemia.
Research confirms that curcumin can trigger cancer cell death (apoptosis) (6)
8. Turmeric can protect DNA from radiation damage.
Scientists have confirmed that the phytochemicals in turmeric can protect cells against radiation-induced damage. (7)
9. Turmeric is great for arthritis and joint pain
Research has shown that turmeric reduces tissue and joint inflammation and discomfort, and is a healthier, safer alternative to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories that cause serious side-effects. Kidney and liver damage are common with drug based NSAIDs, while turmeric appears to be safe. (8)
10. Turmeric has been shown to have an anti-depressive and anti-suicidal effect!
This is very exciting news as depression not only affects people but also dogs. (9)
Considering the countless, scientifically confirmed benefits of turmeric, it should be added to every dogs’ health regime.
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(1) Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 Mar;39(3):283-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2011.05648.x.Discovery of curcumin, a component of golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities.Gupta SC1, Patchva S, Koh W, Aggarwal BB.
(2) Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jul 1;110(1):40-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.02.043. Epub 2012 Apr 3.Effects of curcuminoids on frequency of acute myocardial infarction after coronary artery bypass grafting.Wongcharoen W1, Jai-Aue S, Phrommintikul A, Nawarawong W, Woragidpoonpol S, Tepsuwan T, Sukonthasarn A, Apaijai N, Chattipakorn N.Author information1Department of Internal Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
(3) Diabetes Care. 2012 Nov;35(11):2121-7. doi: 10.2337/dc12-0116. Epub 2012 Jul 6.Curcumin extract for prevention of type 2 diabetes.Chuengsamarn S1, Rattanamongkolgul S, Luechapudiporn R, Phisalaphong C, Jirawatnotai S.
(4) J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Apr;29(1):25-34.Evaluation of turmeric (Curcuma longa) for gastric and duodenal antiulcer activity in rats.Rafatullah S1, Tariq M, Al-Yahya MA, Mossa JS, Ageel AM.
(5) Carcinogenesis. 1993 Nov;14(11):2219-25.Inhibition by dietary curcumin of azoxymethane-induced ornithine decarboxylase, tyrosine protein kinase, arachidonic acid metabolism and aberrant crypt foci formation in the rat colon.Rao CV1, Simi B, Reddy BS.
(6) Biochim Biophys Acta. 1996 Nov 15;1317(2):95-100.Curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-tumor promoter, induces apoptosis in human leukemia cells.Kuo ML1, Huang TS, Lin JK.
(7) Anticancer Res. 1998 Sep-Oct;18(5A):3263-6.Protective action of plant polyphenols on radiation-induced chromatid breaks in cultured human cells.Parshad R1, Sanford KK, Price FM, Steele VE, Tarone RE, Kelloff GJ, Boone CW.
(8) A commercialized dietary supplement alleviates joint pain in community adults: a double-blind, placebo-controlled community trial.Nieman DC1, Shanely RA, Luo B, Dew D, Meaney MP, Sha W.
(9) Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6.Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial.Sanmukhani J1, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB.