Turmeric Curcumin: A Nutrition Powerhouse
You may be most familiar with turmeric as the spice that gives many curries their warm, spicy aromas and golden hue. And you're right about that. Turmeric, a spice with a deep golden hue, is used to add flavor, color, and nutrients to food.
Turmeric, a relative of ginger, is a native Asian plant which rhizome (root) has been used in cooking for hundreds of years. In China and India, it has also been utilized in pharmaceutical and other traditional medical practices.
What Is Curcumin
The roots of the turmeric plant contain the coloring ingredient curcumin (Curcuma longa). It is a potent antioxidant and is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects as well. In addition, curcumin is in charge of giving turmeric its distinctive yellow hue. Hence, curcumin comes from the turmeric plant. Between 2 to 5 percent of curcumin can be found in unprocessed turmeric.
What Is Curcumin Good For?
Research studies have connected curcumin, a component of turmeric, to the following medical benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory effect. One of the most beneficial properties of turmeric (and in particular of the substance curcumin) is its anti-inflammatory effect. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin are reported to be comparable to those of anti-inflammatory drugs. Such anti-inflammatories frequently come with adverse effects, whereas curcumin would hardly ever have any. The human body certainly benefits from substances that have anti-inflammatory properties.
They help in physical healing and support your immune system. Ergo, on the one side, you get sick less easily, and on the other, you recover more quickly. Several studies have looked into curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects (check this one and this one).
- A powerful antioxidant. Although curcumin is an antioxidant in and of itself, it may also enhance the action of the body's natural antioxidants. Free radicals (also known as oxidants) are prevented by antioxidants. Your body's cells can suffer damage from free radicals, which can result in a number of disorders. This includes cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Free radicals can also harm the skin, eyes, and brain.
- Allergies and hay fever. Those who suffer from hay fever and other types of allergies may find relief from curcumin's effects. Curcumin would, among other things, prevent histamine from being released. This study demonstrated a beneficial effect of curcamine administration on allergy symptoms in animals.
- Asthma. Curcumin's anti-inflammatory properties may also help asthma patients. This study supports that.
- Arthritis. The inflammation of the joints is a symptom of arthritis. Those with arthritis may get relief from curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects. See this study.
- Promotes brain activity and counteracts brain diseases. A positive impact on brain-derived neurotrophic factor has been linked to curcumin (BDNF). Your brain's health is maintained by this type of development hormone. Brain disorders may be delayed or prevented as a result of curcumin's beneficial impact. Additionally, it might help your recall.
- Depression. Curcumin may work well as an antidepressant, according to some evidence. The neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are also related to its promotion; these chemicals, among other things, have a beneficial impact on depression.
- Alzheimer's disease. The onset of Alzheimer's disease is influenced by both oxidation and inflammation. Since curcumin may have a positive effect on both (see above), curcumin may have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin has also been linked to the loss of amyloid plaques, which are significant in Alzheimer's disease. Some data suggests that curcumin can be used to both treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease.
- Heart and vascular disease. Cardiovascular illness may be helped by curcumin. Curcumin, for instance, helps the endothelium work. This lines the blood arteries. Curcumin's antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects (mentioned above) may also benefit the heart. The protective role of curcumin in the emergence of cardiovascular disease is highlighted by this study.
- Cancer prevention and treatment. The impact of curcamine and turmeric on cancer has been the subject of numerous research, including this one and this one. There is some proof that curcamine may aid in the treatment of cancer and prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Curcamine may even help prevent cancer, according to some data. This would be particularly true for cancers like colon cancer that start in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Other complaints and disorders. Curcumin can be helpful for many illnesses and bodily functions because it has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Numerous illnesses interplay in some way with oxidation, inflammation, or both. Curcamine can therefore be advantageous for, among other things:
- stomach gas
- peptic sores
- aching joints
- Crohn's illness
- inflammatory colitis
- (IBS/IBS) Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
- gastrointestinal issues
- High LDL
- infected lungs
- Lupus Diabetes (SLE)
- kidney issues
- Inflammation of the eyes and gums
Several of the research and findings included below are exploratory in nature and/or of a modest size. This indicates that even if there are signs that curcumin has a positive impact on the illnesses and disorders listed below, additional, extensive (more) research is required to corroborate the preliminary findings.
Negative Research Results
While many exploratory studies have praised the effects of turmeric and curcumin, there are also studies that have failed to find beneficial effects. In particular, the fact that curcumin is poorly absorbed by the human body is potentially problematic. In addition, no scientific studies have been done on curcumin that were double-blind and placebo-controlled. This is the gold standard in science for making conclusions really plausible. Finally, some of the studies that have been conducted may involve conflicts of interest. Think of researchers who are also producers of a curcumin supplement or scientists who are sponsored by a producer.
Intake of Turmeric & Curcumin
Unfortunately, turmeric is not easily absorbed by the human body. The same is true of curcumin, a compound made specifically from turmeric. There are suggestions that taking it with fat or oil would increase absorption. Furthermore, black pepper may improve the absorption of curcumin and turmeric. This is due to the substance piperine in black pepper. According to this study, piperine improves the absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
In general, not many side effects are reported with the use of turmeric and curcumin. Abdominal pain, nauseousness, vertigo, and diarrhea are the most typical adverse effects. Always read the package leaflet carefully before using a supplement, and consult your doctor before using or taking it.
Taking a supplement containing curcumin, turmeric, or either of these substances is not advised, while using turmeric spice occasionally in cooking is generally harmless. The reason for this is that there is some evidence to suggest that curcamine may have an impact on the uterus and produce menstruation.
Dosage turmeric / curcamine
The dosage of turmeric or curcumin used differs greatly but in general, a dosage of 500mg to 1500mg or more per day has been studied. It is therefore unlikely that you will ingest enough turmeric through a regular meal (e.g. curry) to have any discernible health benefits. A curcumin supplement is therefore probably the best option if you want to test the health benefits of turmeric for yourself.
Check out our Platinum Turmeric, a blend that contains various forms of turmeric, glucosamine, Boswellia extract(frankincense), piperine, and several other highly beneficial natural extracts to keep you at your best.