Turmeric & Curcumin Benefits That's Backed By Science
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
In India, turmeric has long been used as a spice and a healing herb. Science has recently begun to support historical evidence that turmeric contains chemicals with therapeutic effects.
These substances are known as curcuminoids, and curcumin is the most crucial ingredient and the primary active component of turmeric. It has both anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant effects.
1. Turmeric and it's Medicinal Properties
Turmeric doesn't contain a lot of curcumin, only about 3% of it is by weight. The majority of research on this herb use turmeric extracts with dosages typically surpassing 1 gram per day, with curcumin being the main component.
It would be difficult to reach these levels alone by incorporating turmeric as a spice into your meals.
Some people choose to consume supplements as a result. However, curcumin does not enter the bloodstream very well. Curcumin's bioavailability, or how quickly your body absorbs a chemical, must be improved for you to benefit fully from it.
Consuming it with black pepper, which has piperine, is beneficial as it increases curcumin absorption by 2000%.
Piperine is usually present in the best curcumin supplements, which significantly increases their potency.
Curcumin is also a fat soluble compound that breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. As a result, it may be a good idea to take curcumin capsules with a high-fat diet.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Curumin
Inflammation in the body is quite vital. It aids in warding off outside intruders and helps in healing any damages that the body might acquire.
Acute inflammation is advantageous in short-term, but it can be problematic if it persists and starts to destroy your body's own tissues.
Researchers now believe that persistent low-level inflammation may have a role in the development of several diseases and health problems.
Among them are:
A number of degenerative diseases
Anything that can be done to combat chronic inflammation may be useful in avoiding and treating these illnesses.
The most important thing to remember about curcumin is that it is a bioactive chemical that can treat inflammation, despite the fact that the problem of inflammation is complex and there probably isn't a straightforward solution. However, in order to have a therapeutic effect, very high doses are needed.
3. Turmeric as an Antioxidant Enhancer
Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms assumed to be in charge of old age and a number of diseases.
It involves free radicals, highly reactive compounds with unpaired electrons. Free radicals frequently interact with significant chemical compounds like fatty acids, proteins, or DNA.
The main benefit of antioxidants is that they protect your body from free radicals.
Due to the chemical makeup of curcumin, it is a strong antioxidant that has the ability to counteract free radicals.
Additionally, studies on animals and cells suggest that curcumin may stop free radical activity and possibly encourage the activity of other antioxidants. More clinical studies on humans are needed to confirm these benefits.
4. Improving Brain Health with Curcumin
It was once believed that neurons were unable to divide and replicate in their early existence before scientists had a better understanding of neurons. But they now realize that's not the case.
Neurons have the ability to expand and multiply in some regions of the brain. They have the capacity to establish new connections as well.
A major force behind this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This gene helps to produce a protein that is necessary for keeping neurons healthy.
The BDNF protein, which is involved in memory and learning, is found in the parts of the brain that regulate eating, drinking, and body weight.
Decreased BDNF protein levels have been associated with many prevalent brain illnesses, including depression and Alzheimer's. Curiously, research on animals have revealed that curcumin may raise BDNF levels in the brain.
As a result, many brain disorders and age-related diseases in brain function may be effectively delayed or even reversed. However, since only animals were used in these tests, it is challenging to determine what the results mean for people.
Given how it affects BDNF levels, it may also aid with memory and attention. More research is necessary to support this, though.
5. Reducing Heart Disease with Curcumin
The main cause of death worldwide is heart disease. For many years, scientists have researched it and have learnt a lot about why it occurs. It should come as no surprise that there are numerous factors that fuel and exacerbate heart disease.
Numerous milestones in the development of heart disease may be helped by curcumin.
Enhancing the functionality of the endothelium, the lining of your blood arteries, is perhaps curcumin's most important benefit in terms of heart disease.
One of the main causes of heart disease is endothelial dysfunction. This happens when your endothelium struggles to regulate several processes, such as blood pressure and blood coagulation.
Numerous research indicate that curcumin may benefit heart health.
In addition, curcumin can aid in reducing oxidation and inflammation, both of which can contribute to heart disease.
In a randomized researcher involving 121 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, they either received a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day for a few days prior to and following the procedure.
Those who took curcumin had a 65% lower chance of having a heart attack in the hospital.
6. Turmeric as an Anti-Cancer Supplement
Cancer is a condition marked by unchecked cell proliferation. Supplemental curcumin appears to have an impact on a variety of cancer types.
Curcumin has been investigated as a helpful herb in treating cancer and has been discovered to have an impact on the growth and development of cancer.
According to studies, it can:
Contribute to malignant cells dying
Minimize metastasis (spread of cancer)
It has not yet been thoroughly investigated if high-dose curcumin, preferably with an absorption booster like piperine, can aid in the treatment of cancer in humans.
Evidence suggests that it might, however, stop cancer from developing at all, particularly tumors of the digestive tract like colorectal cancer.
44 men with colon lesions that occasionally progressed to cancer participated in a 30-day study, and 4 grams of curcumin per day cut the number of lesions by 40%.
7. Alzheimer's Disease may Benefit from Curcumin Treatment
The most prevalent type of dementia, Alzheimer's disease may be to blame for up to 70% of dementia cases.
Although there are treatments available for some of its symptoms, Alzheimer's disease is still incurable.This is why it is so important to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Given that curcumin has been shown to cross the blood–brain barrier, the future may hold some promising developments.
Both inflammation and oxidative damage, which are known to play a role in Alzheimer's disease, are positively impacted by curcumin.
Additionally, a buildup of protein tangles known as amyloid plaques is a crucial aspect of Alzheimer's disease. According to studies, curcumin can assist in removing these plaques.
Curcumin's potential to reduce or perhaps stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease in people has to be further investigated.
8. Curcumin May Work with Arthritis Patients
Numerous types of arthritis exist, and the majority of them all include joint inflammation.
It's quite obvious then that curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties, could benefit arthritis. In fact, numerous studies have discovered a connection.
Curcumin outperformed an anti-inflammatory medication in a study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Other research has examined curcumin's impact on arthritis and found improvements in a number of symptoms.
9. Curcumin Has Antidepressant Properties
Curcumin's antidepressant benefits has showed some promise. This short study found that curcumin has comparable antidepressant efficacy.
A brain region involved in learning and memory, the hippocampus, as well as lower BDNF levels are associated with depression. By raising BDNF levels, curcumin may be able to slow or stop some of these alterations.
There is some evidence that curcumin can increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.
60 depressed individuals were randomly assigned to one of three groups in a controlled experiment. Prozac was given to one group, 1 gram of curcumin to another, and Prozac with curcumin to the third.
Curcumin had had results comparable to those of Prozac after six weeks. The group that took prozac and turmeric performed best.
10. Curcumin May Slow Down Aging and Fight Chronic Illnesses
If curcumin may truly aid in the prevention of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's, it might also have advantages for extending life.
This implies that curcumin may have application as a supplement for anti-aging.
Curcumin may have effects that go far beyond only preventing disease, given that oxidation and inflammation are thought to play a role in aging.
In a nutshell, numerous health benefits of turmeric have been scientifically demonstrated, including the ability to protect against Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Its most active component, curcumin, also has the potential to boost heart health.
It works well as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, it might lessen arthritis and depression symptoms.
The poor bioavailability of curcumin now prevents these benefits from being fully realized, albeit they may still exist.