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Your Guide to Everything About Curcumin and Turmeric

Updated on October 27, 2017

Not just the color, curcumin is also responsible for making turmeric a lethal weapon against a number of ailments which can attack the human body. In this article, we talk about what is curcumin, and the incredible health benefits it offers. Here’s everything you must know about curcumin and how to make the most of this powerful compound.

Health Benefits of Curcumin

Although curcumin forms only 2-6% of turmeric’s structure, it has very high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help you regain and strengthen the vitality of most organs of your body. Doctors repeatedly mention that inflammation is a major contributor to almost all critical disease relating to human beings. In many countries, people use turmeric on a daily basis as it serves both as a culinary spice, and the curcumin in it acts as a healing agent for the body.

Some ways in which curcumin helps your body stay healthy are:

  1. It is good for your brain
    Curcumin has become a highly researched element in hopes for a breakthrough towards cure of brain diseases. Its anti-inflammatory properties have known to reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease begins as an inflammatory process in the brain, and thus regular intake of curcumin can prevent and even slow down Alzheimer’s effect.
    Not only this, the molecule has also proven itself as a natural and very effective anti-depressant. Research shows that curcumin boosts the BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor), the reduced levels of which are linked to rise of depression and various other brain diseases. Since it is natural and has no addictive effects, many depression therapists are now prescribing curcumin-turmeric supplements along with or instead of synthetic antidepressants such as Prozac.
  2. It keeps your heart healthy
    With high antioxidant properties, curcumin prevents rapid oxidation of cholesterol. It neutralizes free radicals present, and further stimulates the antioxidant enzymes of the body. This way, it prevents the progression of atherosclerosis and protects you against stroke and heart attack.
  3. It prevents and fights cancer
    Although there is not much evidence to prove curcumin’s efficiency against cancer cells, some studies show that it acts as a weak phytoestrogen. This suggests that it has cancer-protective effects and can slowdown or reverse the spreading of cancer.
  4. It cures ailments in joints
    There are some preliminary researches which show that curcumin can help in preventing and fighting arthritis. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it reduces pain and swelling in joints and also has positive effects on people with osteoarthritis of the knee. This is why curcumin-turmeric supplements have found place in natural treatment of arthritis in many countries.
  5. It cures skin problems as well
    Many people use turmeric as a home remedy for treating skin ailments naturally. Curcumin is highly effective against skin issues like skin inflammation,ringworm, leech bites, and bruising.

Apart from these, it is also a strong analgesic and provides relief in minor body ache, cuts and bruising or other acute pains.

Best ways to consume Curcumin

Although turmeric is a natural source of curcumin, the quantity of compound in the spice is very less (~4% by weight). Doctors suggest that excessive intake of turmeric can lead to some side effects, which may not be very harmful, but inconvenient nonetheless.

Also, since curcumin is not water soluble, a large portion of your intake simply passes through you without being absorbed by your body. Another substance, bioperine (or piperine) is mixed with it to enhance its oral bioavailability (increasing the absorption of curcumin by body when taken orally). Bioperine is found in black pepper, and helps the body retain most of the curcumin it intakes.

This is why it is advised to take curcumin-turmeric supplements, as these have a higher concentration of the compound and are infused with piperine. There are many trusted stores offering these supplements, and you can easily find a good quality curcumin extract supplement online. Even if you are using it as colon-inflammatory (which does not require bioperine), it is a smart idea to take supplements instead of natural turmeric as these offers fast relief.

Who can take it?

Since turmeric is a naturally occurring substance, anyone can ingest it orally. However, there are certain conditions which can cause the body to reject, or react negatively, to a high dose of curcumin. People with gallstones or bile duct dysfunction should not take curcumin supplements or turmeric without doctor’s consent.

Mothers to be should also discuss the use of curcumin supplements with their doctors before including it in their daily intake.

© 2017 Physician Natural

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