Curcumin Supplement Health Benefits
The roots of turmeric plant are crushed and subjected to the extraction process to produce the curcumin extract. 10 kg (approx. 20 lbs) of dry curumin power yields only 1 kg (2 pounds) of curmin extract, hence a standardized ratio of 10:1 is considered of good quality. Please note that health benefits of turmeric (curumin supplement) extract is much more effective than normal spice turmeric because it’s highly concentrated form and more importantly because tumeric is not well absorbed in the digestive track. Curumin supplement (extract) is well absorbed from the digestive tract.
Historically it has been used in many cultures around the globe for various purposes and is still used to-date. It was anciently used by Indians, Japanese and Chinese in traditional medicine, as a flavoring agent, condiment and even a spice.
Curcumin is yellow in color and is used to make curry powder thus giving it the distinctive color. It has numerous beneficial properties and is helpful in many conditions. It has been used in Chinese herbal medicine mainly as a blood purifier as well for treatment of stomach ailments. It is also said to have anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Turmeric (Curcumin Supplement) in Inflammation
Arthritis normally occurs due to inflammation of the joints and is a very painful and debilitating condition. Curcumin extract is used to relieve the joints of such aches and pains. It does this by inhibiting or reducing the level of an enzyme known as COX-2. It can also reduce the inflammation by stimulating the adrenal glands so that they can release cortisone (natural steroid) that is used to treat inflammations.
It is considered as an effective and safe pain killer compared to pharmaceutical NSAIDs in the market and thus can be used to aid in other types of inflammations such as tendinitis, bunions, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, inflammation of the tongue, gout and many other type of bone conditions. It can be taken as tincture, tea, applied as fomentation/poultice or even as capsules. Salt or grounded ginger can be added to the fomentation paste to increase its effectiveness.
Cardiovascular Benefits of Turmeric – Curcumin Supplement
It maintains a healthy heart due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The build-up of plaque in the arteries that lead to athersclerosis was found to be drastically reduced with the use of curcumin in some clinical trials. It also aids in preventing blood clots by thinning blood thus reducing the chances of having a heart attack, stroke, thrombosis or any other cardiovascular diseases.
For patients suffering from myocardial infarction, it improves the functioning of their hearts. It also helps to maintain a normal level of cholesterol in the body.
Curcumin is undergoing clinical trial as an alternative for cancer treatment. Curcumin extract could be beneficial in many kinds of cancer such as breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer as well as prostate cancer. It also reduces the risk of developing these cancers in people who frequently uses this extract. The antioxidant property of curcumin plays a major role in helping curb cancer. The antioxidants found in this extract have the potential to counteract and neutralize free radicals found in the body.
It has also been found out that the extract stops cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body such breast cancer cells spreading to the lungs by ensuring the dangerous cells do not grow.
Curcumin is also said to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumours. This process is known as angiogenesis. Angiogensis is a very critical step in the growth of cancer. Because of excess growth of tissue in cancer and increased metabolic demands, cancer cells need more blood supply to maintain and grow their size. Without angiogenesis most cancers would be unable to grow and would be restricted to a small area.
Curumin extract stops this process from occurring either directly or indirectly through enzymes that play a great role in the formation and development of blood vessels. It can also cause the cancer cells to destroy themselves in a self-destruction process (Apoptosis). Cancer cells normally prevent the process of apoptosis, which is the body’s reaction to counter the bad cancer cells, and curcumin is said to over power them to ensure the process takes place. This leads the cancer cells to self-destruct.
Benefits of Curcumin Supplement to the Digestive System
Curcumin is used to support the digestive system. Bile is an important body fluid secreted by the liver to assist in digestion and normally stored in the gall bladder. Congestion in these organs can lead to the formation of gall stones. Since curcumin increases the solubility of bile, it assists in the elimination of gall stones and further formation of the gall stones is also eliminated. The flow of bile that is used to break down body fats is greatly enhanced by curcumin.
It also protects body organs from the damages usually brought about by certain kinds of medications such as indomethacin as well as reserpine. Those with an irritable bowel syndrome have reported that curcumin extract helps to reduce the irritations. Since it acts as a pain killer, it is used to relieve the pains and aches caused by ulcers.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal Benefits of Curcumin Supplement
Curcumin has volatile oils that have anti-bacterial properties that are normally applied to the injured surfaces of the skin in order to prevent bacterial infections of the cuts or wounds. It also used to treat athletes foot by adding some amount of it to footbath.
Role of Curcumin Supplement in Alzheimer’s disease
Increased accumulation of a protein known as amyloid in the brain leads to a disease known as Alzheimer. Curcumin can prevent this disease by making sure that amyloid does not accumulate.
Side-effects and Precautions
Curcumin is very safe but it should not be taken in large amounts as it might lead to stomach upset, cramps and even diarrhea. Ideally curumin should be consumed at 500 mg (.5 grams) to 1 gram (1000 mg) per day. Studies have shown that it’s safe to consume upto 3.6 grams (3600 mg) per day of curumin extract.
In some studies 20 mg/kg of curcumin was used 3 times per week to study anti-cancer properties.
References for further study :
- Oregon State University Micronutrient Research
- MedlinePlus Supplement Information
- Cancer.gov past studies on curcumin cancer prevention
- Cancer.gov current studies on curcumin cancer prevention
- Study on affect of curcumin on pancreatic cancer
- Early Studies on Curcumin
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