Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin: Many high-quality studies show that turmeric has major benefits for your body and brain. Many of these benefits come from its main active ingredient, curcumin.
The spice known as turmeric could be one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence.
Read on to learn what the science says about turmeric and curcumin as well as their benefits.
What are turmeric and curcumin?
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb. Research has shown that turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties.
These compounds are called curcuminoids. The most important one is curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Here are the top 8 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.
1. Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. That said, the curcumin content of turmeric is only around 1-6% by weight.
Most studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram (g) per day, which means it would be hard to reach these levels just by using turmeric as a spice. That’s why some people choose to use supplements.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, In addition, curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream. In order to experience the full effects of curcumin, its bioavailability (the rate at which your body absorbs a substance) needs to improve.
It helps to consume it with black pepper, which contains piperine. Piperine is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%Trusted Source.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, In fact, the best curcumin supplements contain piperine, and this makes them substantially more effective.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Curcumin is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. That’s why it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements with a meal that’s high in fat.
2. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory compound
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Curcumin is a bioactive substance that can help fight inflammation, though very high doses are required to produce medicinal results.
Still, it means it has the potential to fight the inflammation that plays a role in many health conditions and diseases.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, That’s why anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is potentially important in preventing and helping treat these conditions.
3. Turmeric can increase the antioxidant capacity of the body
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, In addition, animal and cellular studies suggest that curcumin may block the action of free radicals and may stimulate the action of other antioxidants. Further clinical studies are needed in humans to confirm these benefits.
4. Curcumin can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Even in adulthood, brain neurons are capable of forming new connections, and in certain areas of the brain, they can multiply and increase in number.
One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a role in memory and learning, and it can be found in areas of the brain responsible for eating, drinking, and body weight.
Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of BDNF protein, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Both animal and human studies have found that curcumin may increase brain levels of BDNF. By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, It may also help improve memory and attention, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels. However, more studies are needed to confirm this.
5. Curcumin may lower your risk of heart disease
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. Research suggests that curcumin may help protect against many steps in the heart disease process.
Specifically, it helps improve the function of the endothelium or the lining of your blood vessels.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease. This is when your endothelium is unable to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting, and various other factors.
Several other studies also suggest that curcumin can lead to improvements in heart health. In addition, curcumin can help reduce inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which can play a role in heart disease.
6. Turmeric may help prevent cancer
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Many different forms of cancer appear to be affected by curcumin supplements.
In fact, curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and has been found to affect cancer growth and development.
Studies have shown that it can:
Contribute to the death of cancerous cells
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors)
Reduce metastasis (spread of cancer)
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, There is also evidence that curcumin may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer.
7. Curcumin may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to up to 70% of dementia cases.
It’s known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has been found to have beneficial effects on both.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, In addition, research suggests that curcumin can help clear the buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques that are caused by the disease.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, That said, whether curcumin can slow or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people is currently unknown and needs to be studied.
8. Arthritis patients respond well to curcumin supplements
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, There are several different types of arthritis, most of which involve inflammation in the joints.
In a study on people with osteoarthritis, curcumin appeared to be more effective in relieving pain than a placebo, and research has also found its effect to be similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, In another study on rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin appeared to have helped reduce disease-related inflammation.
Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin, That said, more study is needed to understand if curcumin can actually replace such drugs as a treatment for arthritis inflammation pain.