Turmeric is biologically closely related to Ginger and is a very common ingredient in South Asian cuisines. Also called the Golden Spice, this lustrous golden-yellow spice is also treated as a herb whose properties are associated with purity and auspiciousness. One of the important compounds in Turmeric is Curcumin, which is credited for giving the spice its distinct color. Recent research has also revealed a gamut of health benefits that Curcumin offers. The following are the ten most important of these:
1.Curcumin Pills Will Likely Reduce Heart Disease:
Considering the prevalence of Heart Disease in the 21st century, there is serious merit in investing on finding cures. Classified as a lifestyle disease, in an overwhelming number of cases, heart disease is preventable, with the right early attention. Curcumin tablets were found to enhance the functioning of endothelium lining in the heart’s blood vessels. Any abnormality in the endothelial functioning can cause blood pressure or cause blood clotting. This dysregulation then leads to heart disease. Recent research literature on Curcumin supplement intake suggest its treatment potential on par with the drug Atorvastatin or regular moderate exercise. Moreover, the already proven benefits of Curcumin/Turmeric in terms of their anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation properties has a benign influence on the heart as well. Even coronary artery bypass surgery patients were found to have a significant decreased risk of suffering a relapse heart attack upon starting a Curcumin capsule regimen.
2.Powerful Curative Properties in Individual Compounds:
We’ve all noticed how golden yellow the Indian curry looks like, right? This is due to the turmeric in it. An integral part of South Asian cuisine dating back several millennia, Turmeric has recently piqued the interest of the scientific community for its touted medicinal properties. Chief among the several beneficial compounds of Turmeric are Curcuminoids, within which the compound Curcumin had garnered special attention. Recent randomized double blind control trials have provided evidence for the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Curcumin. Following these discoveries, Curcumin these days are promoted by nutraceutical companies as a food supplement in the form of Curcumin capsules. To aid the better absorption of Curcumin in the body, a tiny dosage of piperine (derived from black pepper) is mixed in the Curcumin capsules. It is stated that the absorption increases multifold through the action of this catalyst. Since curcumin is fat soluble one should always consume curcumin supplements along with fat.
3.Rich and Natural Antioxidant Source:
We all know that aging and debility are caused in part due to oxidative damage incurred by our cells. Free radicals that are ingested via the food we eat react with proteins, fatty acids & can even damage our DNA. Curcumin capsules essentially negate the action of free radicals on top of augmenting the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. This way, Curcumin/Turmeric deals a double blow to free radicals.
4. Potent Anti-inflammatory Agent:
The proven anti-inflammatory effect of Turmeric/Curcumin makes it an ideal tool to cope with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To clarify, inflammation is not an altogether bad biomedical phenomenon. It helps the body to fend off foreign intrusions and is also helpful in repairing wear and tear. Inflammation witnessed in moderation and at right moments can be life saving. But perpetual inflammation is a dangerous thing, leading to a gamut of non-communicable, degenerative disorders. This is where Curcumin capsules come into the picture. As a treatment option, Curcumin is found to equal if not surpass some major OTC drugs that are generally prescribed by allopathic doctors. In particular, Curcumin is said to block a particular molecule in human cells that acts as a signal generator for inflammatory processes.
5.Curcumin as a Possible Treatment Option for Alzheimer’s Disease:
The global health burden of Alzheimer’s disease is at an all time high today. Not only are there economic costs, but caregivers bear a heavy brunt of taking care of those afflicted. Current understanding of the disease is that formation of amyloid plaques in the brain cause this incurable illness. The ability of Curcumin to cross the blood-brain barrier is a boon to these patients, as its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties slows down the rate of degeneration of the brain. It remains to be seen though weather Curcumin or Turmeric supplementation can actually reverse the condition.
6.Possible role for Curcumin as an Antidepressant:
This is an emerging field of research, finding the antidepressive effect of regular Curcumin supplementation. One study had found that the outcomes on a Curcumin supplementation were comparable with some popular Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that are the first line treatment for Depression. Not only does Curcumin increase the brain growth hormone BDNF, it is also found to expand the volume of the hippocampus, an area crucial for learning and memory formation. Curcumin also seem to boost dopamine and serotonin – two key neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation.
7.Increased Production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF):
Curcumin supplements are found to instigate the production of neurons in adults. Conventional wisdom had it that our brain does not create any more neurons once we are past childhood. But recent theories pertaining to neuroplasticity and neuroadaptibility have shown how our brains have amazing abilities to regenerate and restructure in constructive ways to enhance the survival potential of brain-injured patients. But this process does not happen in a vacuum. Under a regimen of certain nootropics like Curcumin/Turmeric, BDNF levels were observed to increase significantly. BDNF is in essence a growth hormone that acts in the central nervous system. Since BDNF is found to be subdued in people suffering from various psychiatric and neurological disorders, an increase in BDNF is expected to improve these conditions. However, we need more clinical studies to confirm this link.
8.Gives Relief from Arthritic Pain:
The famed anti-inflammatory property of Curcumin/Turmeric provides pain relief for those suffering from various forms of arthritis. In a clinical study conducted on rheumatoid arthritis patients, the effectiveness of Curcumin capsules of moderate dosage was shown to be as effective as standard prescription medication.
9.Curcumin can Potentially Treat Cancer:
In what should provide hope for cancer patients, Turmeric/Curcumin seems to curb the uncontrolled mutant cell growth that is characteristic of the illness. Studies show that Curcumin is hostile to cancer cells and prevents their growth at a molecular level. It can also diminish angiogenesis and metastasis. In vitro tests (laboratory tests) on animals have proven how Curcumin capsules can inhibit the growth of tumors. More importantly, regular consumption of Curcumin/Turmeric supplements seem to make the body immune to cancer. In a four week study performed on colon cancer patients, a Curcumin dosage of four grams per day (which is higher than a standard dosage by a few multiples) brought down the lesions by an impressive forty percent. So people suffering from cancer or those looking to prevent it should both consume Curcumin regularly.
10.Curcumin Supplement for Youthfulness:
This is not a surprising finding. By virtue of either preventing or improving so many serious health conditions it stands to reason that regular consumption of Curcumin pills should prolong human lifespan. When one takes into account the multidimensional therapeutic action of curcumin, it is easy to see how the ancient Indian herb is a potent anti-aging agent.
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