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Wikipedia Fails Again: The Case of Misinformation about Curcumin

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Wikipedia states, “Although thoroughly studied in laboratory and clinical studies, curcumin has no confirmed medical uses.” [6]   Wikipedia also cites a 2017 review of over 120 studies that disclaims any of curcumin’s therapeutic effects.[7]

For the moment we can ignore the 2017 review until we look later at the failures of the Cochrane Collaboration, the flagship medical review project of Evidence Based Medicine. However, the review only looked at 120 studies. In fact, there are over 11,800 entries for curcumin in the peer-reviewed literature found in the National Institutes’ of Health (NIH) PubMed database. According to the nonprofit HerbMed site, which has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Science magazine and the Western Journal of Medicine, there have been 375 human clinical trials and 499 animals studies, 74 observational case reports, 553 papers looking at curcumin’s pharmacodynamic properties and other studies investigating the plant’s chemistry, genetics and use in traditional societies.[8]

Contrary to the Cochrane review that only looked a 120 studies, a recent larger meta-analysis of curcumin’s ability to lower plasma leptin concentrations was conducted by universities in the US (Weill Cornell Medical), Greece (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Italy (University of Pavia), and Iran (Mashhad University of Medical Science) and concluded that curcumin significantly decreased adverse leptin levels.[9]

A double blind randomized controlled study, with 4-week monitoring, found that curcumin successfully improved all parameters of metabolic syndrome under investigation, including enhanced body-mass index, body-fat percent, blood pressure, lipid profile and C-reactive protein.[10]

An Australian study conducted at the universities of Newcastle and Southern Queensland found curcumin sharply improved neurocognitive functioning and cerebral endothelial vasodilator function in elderly patients that may reduce dementia risks.[11]

To further reinforce the health benefits of curcumin and discredit Wikipedia’s Skepticism, the federal government has provided $150 million in curcumin research through the National Center for Complementary and Integrative (CAM) Health. For a period of time the MD Anderson Cancer Center had a separate laboratory conducting curcumin research.

Just in the US official scientific library of medicine with almost 12,000 studies, the evidence overwhelmingly supports curcumin’s medicinal and functional benefits. That does not include the thousands of studies in medical journals in other cournties where turmeric has been used as a nutritional enhancer for millennia. Wikipedia’s absurd statement that “although long used in Ayurvedic medicine… no high-quality clinical evidence exists for use of turmeric or its constituent, curcumin, as a therapy,” requires little comment for the hundreds of pages simply listing research about the herb’s medicinal value. Just a few of the research study titles include:

  • Curcumin administration reduces depressive symptoms in patients with major depression (Phytotherapy Research, 2015)
  • Curcumin or combined curcuminoids are effective in lowering the fasting blood glucose concentrations of individuals with dysglycemia (Pharmacological Research, 2017)
  • Curcumin appears to enhance clearance of amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s disease patient (Journal of Alzheimers Disease, 2006)
  • Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of 4 weeks or longer suggest that curcumin may afford some protection against oxidative stress (Nutrition Research, 2018)
  • A curcumin extract is appropriate for the care of patients with joint problems and may also contribute to the regeneration of cartilage (Open Rheumatological Journal, 2014)
  • A daily dose of 3.6 g curcumin achieves pharmacologically efficacious levels in the colorectum with negligible distribution of curcumin outside the gut (Cancer Epidemiological Research, 2005)
  • A topical preparation of curcumin successfully decreased the markers of lactational mastitis such as pain, breast tension and erythema within 72 hours of administration (Oman Medical Journal, 2014)
  • Curcumin alleviates ethanol-induced oxidative damage in liver cells (Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2010)

We can trust the accumulation of nearly 12,000 studies in the official peer reviewed data library.

We can count upon the countless other studies in the world’s other databases. We can trust the numerous doctors throughout history in culture’s worldwide with proven clinical experience. Or we can trust a tiny group of expert wannabes, Skeptics, who are anonymous and have no noticeable education or experience in nutritional biochemistry and preventative medicine. And this group dominating Wikipedia’s health pages are ideologically and frequently politically aligned with the pharmaceutical industry. This is a long sorted history of Big Pharma relying upon faux scientists, public relations firms and astroturf groups for hire to promulgate its ideology.

Imagine that the telecommunications and wireless industry that is determined to bring 5G technology to the world were to try to stop federal funding for research about its technologies. The telecom giants have enormous control over the media through advertising. Yet the public remains unaware of over 26,000 scientists on record who oppose 5G technology and the new generation cell towers because of their dire health risks. But you would never learn this by reading the New York Times or listening to the major television networks. And it is much worse with the pharmaceutical industry.

Therefore, are we to believe Wikipedia that has a reputation for attacking dissent and only permitting content from people the encyclopedia selects as authorities, when these people have no qualifications or expertise in the fields they write about?  The large majority of Wikipedia’s Skeptic editors have zero degrees in the health subjects that criticize. They have conducted nor published a scientific study. They are never invited to professional conferences and events to present their contributions to science and medicine. And this is what Jimmy Wales and his iron fisted group of Skeptics allow to pass as an objective platform and unbiased information?

Wikipedia is an embarrassment to knowledge. Beneath the excellent information that has no direct impact upon our lives, the site serves as a hit organization for topics that truly do matter. It no longer deserves its non-profit status as a source of grossly negligent and fake information.