The researchers from the University of Arizona have undertaken trials in rats using extracts from the turmeric root to mimic the extracts found in commercially-available products.
They found that the extract which most closely mirrors the spice found in curries had the greatest anti-inflammatory effect.
The researchers believe that this effect is a result of a substance called curcumin preventing the production of inflammatory proteins. The model used in the study was joint inflammation, but the researchers hope that this extract could be used to treat many inflammatory conditions.
However, the scientists warn that clinical trials are needed to confirm these results and before turmeric supplements can be used in patients. Eating more spices is unlikely to have a beneficial effect.