The Health Benefits of Curcumin – The Golden Spice

The health benefits of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, are being increasingly recognised today.

For thousands of years, people in India and the Far East have treasured turmeric as a spice and medicinal herb.  Traditionally, people have used it for respiratory conditions, sprains, swellings, liver disorders, and rheumatism.  Topically, people have applied it to infected wounds, ringworm, bruises, and inflammation on the skin or oral mucosa. However, modern science is now researching and confirming many of these therapeutic effects. It seems the Indians were right all along – it really does have healing properties. Furthermore, scientists have identified a bioactive component called curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Today, it is growing popular as a nutritional supplement. In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the health benefits of curcumin and its many uses.

Curcumin and Inflammation

It is now well accepted acute and chronic inflammation is a major factor in the progression of many diseases, including obesity, type two diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative conditions, as well as some types of cancer. Therefore, finding ways to tackle it has become a significant health priority. Studies show curcumin can help dampen inflammation by inhibiting the activity of various enzymes and signalling molecules which play a role in inflammation. In particular, it acts as a COX-2 inhibitor, helping reduce inflammation and pain. Research has demonstrated that curcumin can match the effectiveness of some powerful anti-inflammatory drugs, and the great news is that it has no side effects.

Curcumin Protects Against Free Radicals

Another major contributor to chronic illness is oxidative stress. It’s also believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defences. Free radicals are atoms or molecules with one or more unpaired electrons. They are produced in our bodies every minute of the day as by-products of metabolism or created during cellular responses to toxins, inflammatory cytokines or bacterial invasion. They are highly reactive, causing damage to lipids, proteins and DNA around the body. Antioxidants can prevent or delay oxidation reactions by scavenging the free radicals and donating electrons to reduce their reactivity. 

Curcumin is a potent antioxidant which can help neutralise these free radicals. Studies show it may also help reduce their production and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase. 

Discover The Health Benefits of Curcumin

Brain Health

It is the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have made curcumin a good candidate for brain health. Various protocols for dementia and traumatic brain injury have utilised it. Studies suggest it can help improve memory and cognitive function and even has the potential to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Studies show it may help delay the degradation of neurons. Under certain circumstances, brain cells can form new connections and multiply and increase in number. One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone. It is theorised curcumin may help promote the production of this hormone. Conditions like depression and Alzheimer’s disease link to low levels of BDNF.

Arthritic Help

Researchers now recognise that osteoarthritis, once considered purely degenerative, also involves inflammatory aspects with connections to systemic inflammation. However, several studies have shown that one of the most significant health benefits of curcumin is that it can help reduce pain and improve joint function in people with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. 

Liver Support

Oxidative stress is considered one of the major contributors to liver damage. A variety of things, including alcohol, drugs, viral infections, environmental pollutants and dietary toxins, can cause it. It can result in liver injury, non-alcoholic liver disease, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. Historically, people have used curcumin to support the liver. Studies show it exerts remarkable protective and therapeutic benefits against the effects of oxidative stress-associated liver diseases. Other research has shown that it can reduce fat accumulation in the liver, improve lipid metabolism, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, research suggests it may protect against oxidative stress and help restore normal liver functioning. 

Blood Sugar Balance

Studies have shown that curcumin helps regulate blood sugar levels, making it a valuable supplement for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. It may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce complications related to diabetes, such as diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. Don’t forget its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help protect the pancreas and other organs affected by diabetes.

Heart Disease

The health benefits of curcumin also extend to cardiovascular concerns. These include its potential to help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. Some studies have even found it can improve the function of the endothelium, the lining of blood vessels. It is well known endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and high blood pressure. 

Cancer Prevention

Some studies have looked at curcumins’ potential role in cancer prevention. Research suggests that it may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and even induce apoptosis (cell death) in some cancerous cells. It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may also help reduce the risk of cancer development. 

Choose Curcumin Wisely

It’s worth knowing that curcumin is notoriously poorly absorbed, whether it comes from food or nutritional supplements. Good Health Naturally products contain Meriva Curcumin, the most clinically researched and effective curcumin product on the market. It is cleverly embedded into a lecithin phospholipid, dramatically increasing bioavailability and absorption. Studies show it offers significantly superior absorption when compared to unformulated curcuminoid mixtures. 

Unleash the Health Benefits of Curcumin

The health benefits of curcumin are wide-reaching, and it really does seem to have extraordinary healing properties. Supplementing with curcumin can be a great way to protect the body from all the daily battles against inflammation and oxidative stress.  

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073929/gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073929/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27124606/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163782/

 

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