Turmeric has been getting a lot of press lately as some kind of miracle supplement that can cure or prevent all manner of Conditions and illnesses.
As such, I decided to do a little bit of research to determine the efficacy of the claims about Turmeric and particularly its main active ingredient – Curcumin.
But first things first, what is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a supplement from the Curcuma longa plant, found mainly in South East Asia and particularly in India.
The main ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin, which is what gives the root its strong yellow color. Curcumin has strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are what makes it so effective at fighting illness.
Curcumin is not the only ingredient that is effective in Turmeric as there are other compounds in the supplement that experts do agree with work well to fight all manner of conditions.
Some of the Turmeric health benefits include reducing anti-inflammation, fighting free radicals, boosting BNF, lowering the risk of heart disease, prevents cancer, treat and prevents Alzheimer’s, improve mood, and prevents arthritic conditions.
Read on for a breakdown of the many benefits of Turmeric.
Curcumin is an Anti-Inflammatory
Your body needs inflammation, which is the mechanism through which it repairs damaged or worn out parts and fights pathogens and bacteria.
While it is a critical part of keeping you healthy, chronic inflammation is bad for long term health and may result in chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer.
This is where Curcumin comes in. It is a strong anti-inflammatory that blocks the compounds responsible for inflammation, thus preventing the inflammation process from attacking the body’s cells.
Turmeric is a Powerful Antioxidant
Oxidative damage is one of the most powerful agents for aging in the human body. It is typically caused by free radicals, which react with molecular compounds such as DNA, proteins, and fatty acids weakening and destroying them.
This is why you need antioxidants to protect the body from the free radicals. Turmeric works really well as it contains Curcumin a strong antioxidant.
It not only works as an antioxidant but also stimulates the body to produce antioxidants to destroy the free radicals.
The Curcumin Increases Levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BNF)
The neurons in the body are always in a constant state of being renewed and forming new connections. The process of regeneration is typically driven by the BDNF, a human growth hormone for the brain.
The Curcumin in Turmeric has been shown to increase the level of BDNF and in doing so prevent or reduce the development of age-related and brain disease such as Alzheimer’s.
Having higher levels of BDNF will also result in neuron multiplication and connections, which will also improve your cognition function.
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world that kills millions every year. There are several lifestyle choices and conditions that result in inflammation that may result in heart disease.
Curcumin as a strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory helps prevent the development of heart disease or alleviate its symptoms.
Curcumin has been shown to improve endothelium function, which helps to regulate blood clotting, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular issues thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Turmeric Helps Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of the worst diseases to afflict mankind and just like heart disease it is related to inflammation and oxidation.
Curcumin in Turmeric has been shown to be effective in fighting and preventing several different types of cancer.
The compound has been known to stop the development and even reverse the abnormal multiplication of cancer cells.
Moreover, Curcumin has also been shown to be effective at enhancing the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments for certain types of cancer, especially gut cancers such as colon and pancreatic cancer.
Curcumin is Effective in Treating and Preventing Alzheimer’s
One of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world is Alzheimer’s, which often results in dementia.
The unfortunate thing about Alzheimer’s is that it has no treatment and hence the best treatment is always prevention.
This is where Curcumin comes in as it has been shown to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier to slow down oxidative damage and inflammation.
In fact, studies have shown that persons that take Turmeric have less of the plaque typically found in the brains of people with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Turmeric Helps Fight Depression
Studies have shown that Curcumin may be effective in improving mood and treating depression.
Researchers do believe that this effect has to do with the Curcumin in Turmeric boosting the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Low levels of BDNF have been linked with depressive mood and poor cognitive function.
Turmeric not only boosts and stimulates the levels of BDNF in the body but it can also boost dopamine and serotonin in the body, thus reducing mood depressive disorders and depression.
Curcumin Reduces Arthritic Pain
A lot of people in the West suffer from arthritis, most of which is caused by chronic inflammation of the joints.
Given that the Curcumin in Turmeric is one of the most effective anti-inflammatory agents, it works very well against arthritic pain.
In fact, studies have shown that in some instances Curcumin was more effective than anti-inflammatory medication.
It significantly reduced the effects of inflammation and in some instances even completely eliminated it.
Turmeric also works well as a preventative measure against arthritis. Studies did show that taking curcumin supplements helps prevent development or rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Turmeric contains Curcumin, one of the most effective compounds that make the supplement very effective at combating all manner of conditions and illnesses.
The benefits of turmeric for health include its Anti-Inflammatory properties, antioxidative properties, boosting BDNF, lowering the risk of heart disease, ability to prevent cancer, treating and preventing Alzheimer’s, fighting depression, and reducing arthritic pain.
By taking a little bit of turmeric either in food or in supplements, and combined with a healthy lifestyle, you can significantly improve your health outcomes.
Moreover, Turmeric is not only a health supplement but can also be used as a spice for food thus helping kill two birds with one stone.