Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

                                        
Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.
Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.
Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric


Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is 
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
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The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty mea

Inflammation is incredibly important.
It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.
Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you.
Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body's own tissues.
Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.
Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.
The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).
In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body's own antioxidant enzymes (171819Trusted Source).
In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body's own antioxidant defenses
Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren't able to divide and multiply after early childhood.
However, it’s now known that this does happen.
Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number.
One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain (20Trusted Source).
Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer's disease (2122).
Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF (2324).
By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function (25Trusted Source).
It may also improve memory and make you smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels. However, controlled studies in people are needed to confirm this (26)
Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world (27Trusted Source).
Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens.
Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it.
Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28Trusted Source).
Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.
It’s well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29Trusted Source).
Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).
In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well.
One study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.
The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32Trusted Source).

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