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Curcumin and vitamin A linked to better gut health

Curcumin reduced gut complaints

Studies are beginning to find digestive benefits for curcumin. In this study, 77 adults with digestive complaints who also reported on mood, anxiety, and quality of life, took a placebo or 500 mg of curcumin per day.

After eight weeks, while there were no differences in the gut microbiome between the curcumin and placebo groups, those taking curcumin saw a 28 percent improvement in gut symptom scores including reflux, abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation, compared to 18 percent for placebo. The curcumin group also reported 52 percent less anxiety vs. 16 percent less for placebo.

Reference: BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies; 2021, Vol. 21, Article No. 40

Vitamin A and gut effects in autism

Many people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also report gut symptoms. In this study, doctors compared 323 children with ASD to 180 kids without.

Children with ASD and gut symptoms had lower levels of vitamin A compared to kids with ASD but no gut symptoms. In children with both ASD and gut impairments, core ASD symptoms were more serious than in kids without gut complaints, including relating to people, emotional response, body use, adaptation to change, listening responses, taste, smell, and touch response, and verbal and non-verbal communication.

Discussing the findings, doctors said kids with autism may tend to develop gastrointestinal symptoms due to eating only a few foods, preferring highly processed foods, and eating fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Kids with ASD may therefore have nutritionally poor diets, raising chances for vitamin A deficiency.

Reference: Pediatric Research; 2021, Vol. 89, 211-6


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