Curcumin supplements are hitting store shelves as the compound found in turmeric is being touted as a possible treatment to Alzheimer's and cancer. But scientists agree more research is needed. The products: Humans have long believed in an almost magical connection between strong flavors and good health. The burn from the hot pepper? It must be energizing the body. The pungent tang of a raw oyster? It must be energizing a very particular part of the body. And the zingy sweetness of an Indian curry? For centuries, people in India have believed that the spice turmeric can ease digestive distress and arthritis.