A closer look at Curcumin and Turmeric
Turmeric is the element derived from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the plant Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. It is responsible for the yellow color of Indian curry and American mustard. Curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is the most active constituent of Turmeric. In the U.S. and Asia, Turmeric is one of the best known spices. It’s one of the main components of curry powder and many other dishes. In India and other parts of Asia, Turmeric is also used to treat many health conditions due to its medicinal value. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and even anti-cancerous properties.
Curcumin, is a substance in Turmeric, helps to reduce inflammation. Several regular studies have suggested that it also helps ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis
and rheumatoid arthritis
, like pain and inflammation. Whereas it has also been found that even the other compounds in Turmeric have enriched medicinal content.
In lab tests, finding have been in support of Curcumin to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors and in some cases it has also proved as a component to stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments. But still detailed researches are needed to support the findings even more strongly.
Multiple other preliminary lab studies have suggested Curcumin or Turmeric to be much protective against many types of skin diseases
, Alzheimer’s disease
, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on lab studies, Turmeric and Curcumin also helps in treating upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.
But it has also been importantly marked to keep in mind that most of these studies have been done in the laboratory. Researchers haven’t yet strongly conducted significant studies on the benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
. So it’s too early to say what health benefits Turmeric might really have.
Curcumin and Cancer
Curcumin—a derivative of Turmeric, and the pigment that gives the curry spice Turmeric its yellow-orange color has been extensively researched against its effect on cancer. Following results have been noticed against the effective working of Curcumin and Turmeric
in case of cancer-
- Curcumin appears to be universally useful for almost every type of cancer, and has the most evidence-based literature support for its usage against cancer.
- It has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression, both by destroying cancer cells, and by promoting generation of healthy cell functioning.
- Research has also shown that it works synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs for enhancing the elimination of cancerous cells.
Curcumin and Joint Pain
Several researches have shown that taking Turmeric extracts, alone or in combination with other herbal ingredients, helps a lot in reducing the pain caused by osteoarthritis or any other joint pain symptoms. In one of the studies, Turmeric was noticed to work as well as ibuprofen for reducing the osteoarthritis pain. Thus Curcumin or Turmeric has been found usage friendly in case of reducing the joint pain symptoms in the body.
Curcumin and Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition wherein blood sugar levels
in the body remain high and the body fails to regulate it. Insulin is the hormone that plays a vital role in controlling this disease. It is produced by the pancreas and it controls the blood sugar. Curcumin has been found acting as the Insulin booster thereby reducing the blood sugar levels. This in turn helps in proper movements of glucose from blood to muscles, fat and liver cells where it is stored or used as fuel.
Curcumin and Heart Health
Both heart attacks and strokes are caused by atherosclerotic plaque build or high cholesterol levels. The plaque build leads to blood clots being formed and with a single clot breaks off from arterial walls travelling to the brain or heart; it causes a stroke or heart attack. Studies have found that Turmeric could reduce the adhesive abilities of blood platelets, thereby preventing them from forming clot and make the blood vessels relaxed. This minimizes the chances of heart damage after suffering a heart attack.
Several other studies conducted on the benefits of Turmeric suggest that it could prevent build of plaque, which prevents the onset of atherosclerosis leading to arteries blockage, stroke or heart attack.
Curcumin and Alzheimer’s
, is an anti-inflammatory molecule in the Turmeric root, which is a relatively high in properties of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory as associated with multiple health benefits. Vitamin D and Curcumin have been found to reverse the Alzheimer’s disease progression if supplemented in a routine manner. Curcumin have been noticed to contain optimal benefits in the least amount of time. Again clinical studies are still necessary to support these facts at a stronger edge. Data suggest that subjects with late-onset Alzheimer disease do not respond to DHA, which may be due to oxidation. It has been found possible that Curcumin enables its respond to DHA for reducing the Alzheimer’s disease effect.
Curcumin and Obesity
If one eats a food to which one’s body is sensitive, a line of negative consequences can befall along with it which is a major cause of obesity, such as-
- The body retains water in an effort to flush out the reactive food
- Blood vessels expand and contract, resulting in inflammation and swelling
- Addictive cravings for the foods to which body is sensitive
- Metabolic disruptions and discomfort
- Over time, such unpleasant consequences can also lead to stubborn weight gain.
Curcumin helps in halting this process and prevents from putting up unnecessary weight
due to these effects on the body. Curcumin has a fighting ability against inflammation, which decreases or even prevents the symptoms of food allergies and sensitivities. In turn this relatively reduces the causes and symptoms that favour obesity
Turmeric or Curcumin, considered as a spice, is a very common ingredient in Indian cooking. The spice and its supplement- Curcumin, comes from the underground stems (rhizomes) of the Turmeric plant. Turmeric is still understudied treatment, even though it has years of traditional use and some preliminary convincing research. Turmeric is not known to have any side effects as such. Turmeric has blood-thinning properties; hence, before taking blood-thinning medications one must always consult their doctor. There has been no standard dosage for the same so a recommendation and consultation with the health consultant is a must before its intake.