Turmeric Natures Cure All
Turmeric is touted as one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence and here are the top 9 reasons why!!!
Turmeric comes from the underground stems of the Curcuma longa plant which is a member of the ginger family. Its what gives curry its yellow colour. Its main and most active ingredient is curcumin which is a very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as not only a spice but as a medicinal herb too and science is now starting to discover and confirm what the Indians have known for hundreds of years which is that it really does have medicinal benefits.
To date literally hundreds of medical and scientific studies highlight its benefits for our bodies and our brains.
Nine Major Health Benefits of Turmeric
1:Turmeric and Cancer
Turmeric and more specifically its active ingredient curcumin has been shown to protect against and potentially fight cancer.
Early trials have shown some promising results for both preventing and treating cancer.
Research shows that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over a long period of time.
In one cancer prevention trial curcumin was given to patients with pre-cancerous cells and the study indicated that curcumin could stop these pre-cancerous cells becoming cancer.
Numerous scientific studies on cancer have shown that curcumin appears to be able to kill cancer cells and also prevent more from growing. It has the best results on breast, bowel, skin and stomach cancer cells. A scientific study using both curcumin and chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells showed that treatments used in tandem killed more cancer cells than using chemotherapy alone.
Another study in mice showed that curcumin stopped the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body.
Whether curcumin can help treat cancer in humans has still to be tested further before definite claims can be made but the evidence so far is extremely positive.
However, there is more conclusive evidence to show that it may help prevent cancer from occurring in the first place.
Fact: Curcumin leads to several changes on a molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
2:Turmeric as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory
Short-term inflammation in the body is extremely important as it helps the body fight infection and foreign bodies and also has a role in repairing damage. Without it bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us.
When inflammation becomes long-term (chronic), it can become a major problem and can be mistakenly deployed against the bodys own tissues.
Chronic, low-level inflammation is now believed to play a major role in almost every Western disease, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimers and other degenerative conditions.
Curcumin is an extremely strong anti-inflammatory that fights inflammation at the molecular level and is as effective as many anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs without the side effects!
So if it can help fight chronic inflammation without the side effects surely it is of huge potential importance in both preventing and even treating disease.
3:Turmeric the Antioxidant that also Increases our Antioxidant Capacity
Oxidative stress is recognised as one of the causes behind ageing and disease.
Oxidative damage involves free radicals (highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons) reacting with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.
Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals which is why they are so important to our health.
Guess what! Curcumin also happens to be a very potent antioxidant that neutralises free radicals. Coupled with this it also boosts the activity of the bodys own antioxidant enzyme system so it packs a double punch.
4:Turmeric Improves Brain Function and Lowers the Risk of Brain Disease.
Curcumin has been shown to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
The growth of new cells in the brain, neurogenesis, is enhanced under the influence of a specific protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor)
Common brain disorders such as Alzheimers and depression have been linked to decreased levels of this brain growth hormone.
Curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF and by doing this could be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and degenerative age-related decreases in brain function.
It is also a possibility that it could help improve memory and make you more intelligent. This all seems to add up knowing its effects on BDNF levels.
Interestingly – one key feature of Alzheimers disease is a build-up of protein tangles called amyloid plaques, studies have shown that curcumin can help clear these plaques.
Curcumin has been shown to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression.
One controlled trial 60 patients were put into 3 randomised groups. One of the groups took Prozac, one took a gram of curcumin and the third took both, daily. The results after a 6 weeks period showed that there were similar improvements in the 2 groups that took curcumin and Prozac separately but the group that took both saw the most improvement. Showing that curcumin could be and effective antidepressant.
As discussed above depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a shrinking of the hippocampus – curcumin boosts these BNDF levels so has the potential to reverse some of these changes.
5:Turmeric Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world.
It has been studied for many decades and researchers have learned a lot about why it happens.
When it comes to heart disease probably the main benefit of curcumin is its ability to improve the function of the endothelium (the lining of the blood vessels)
Endothelial dysfunction is a major contributor to heart disease and is when the endothelium is unable to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors.
Studies show that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function, some suggesting that it may be as effective as exercise. The fact that curcumin also reduces inflammation and oxidation is also important in the prevention of heart disease.
6:Turmeric aids Weight Loss
Picking up on the point above that suggests that taking turmeric could be as effective as exercise; studies have shown that it increases the flow of bile in the stomach which in turn helps to break down fat. So taking turmeric before or just after each meal can help your body break down the fat that can cause you to gain weight.
Another way turmeric aids in weight loss is it helps to control sugar levels by fighting insulin resistance. This keeps you from retaining extra fat and lowers your chances of developing diabetes. However, If you already have diabetes it helps you control your glucose levels.
7:Turmeric and Diabetes
The formation of fatty deposits in the arteries is a risk for patients with type 2 diabetes a recent patient study found that supplementing with turmeric can prevent this. Over a series of six months the study revealed the involvement of turmeric extract, curcumin, does stop the fatty deposits forming on the inner surfaces of the arteries and obstructing the blood flow. Researchers also found that Turmeric could prevent diabetes from developing. The research showed that people with diabetes who took a curcumin supplement dramatically lowered their glucose level and insulin resistance.
8:Arthritis and Turmeric
There are various types of arthritis and most involve some sort of inflammation in the joints so again as a proven potent anti-inflammatory it is not surprising that would help with arthritis.
Many studies have examined the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in symptoms. In one study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was shown to be even more effective than an anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drug.
9:Anti-Ageing Benefits of Turmeric
So if curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers surely it has have obvious benefits for longevity.
It is for this reason that turmeric has become very popular as an anti-ageing supplement.
A Few Additional & Important Suggestions
Most of the studies on this herb are using dosages that usually exceeding 1 gram per day meaning it would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
So, if you want to experience the full effects, then you would be wise to take a daily supplement
Black pepper enhances bioavailability of Turmeric. Curcumin has low levels of bioavailability. Most of the curcumin that is ingested gets metabolized before it can get absorbed. There are studies to test if when taking curcumin with black pepper could improve the bioavailability of the former. These studies have been conducted on humans and animals. One of these studies found that when 2g of curcumin was ingested, absorption levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine (black pepper) was added to the curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%.
So always swallow a few whole peppercorns along your turmeric supplement, in order to enhance absorption.
Turmeric is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal or with good quality omega 3 oil supplement Recent studies have identified that phospholipid omega 3 can increase bioavailability of curcumin by up to 27 times .