Turmeric and curcumin have been used for (literally) thousands of years in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for a wide range of health benefits. These nutrients may sound familiar to you because they are commonly used as spices primarily in recipes from India and are often referred to as “Indian saffron.” Curcumin turmeric is what gives curry its vibrant yellow color.
You may wonder if turmeric and curcumin are the same things. They are not, but they are closely related:
- Turmeric powder comes from a plant called “curcuma longa”
- Within turmeric are curcuminoids, and the most notable curcuminoid is called curcumin
- Curcumin is a potent compound that has a great many positive health advantages
In simpler terms, curcumin is inside turmeric, which is inside the curcuma longa plant.
The majority of clinical research has been done on curcumin. The research leaves no question that curcumin acts as a beneficial antioxidant that has the ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Turmeric and curcumin supplements have become extremely popular, not because they are the latest fad. But rather, these natural plant extracts are backed by positive scientific evidence that shows just how valuable it is to our health.
Here are seven of the most important:
- Reduces Inflammation
As far as natural anti-inflammatories go, turmeric is among the best in the world in promoting promote inflammation relief. Curcumin, the active ingredient, reduces the chronic inflammation associated with joint issues such as stiffness and swelling.
As people age, they often lose their mobility and range of motion. Even basic activities such as walking or using stairs can become difficult. There is an endless amount of medical-based documents that confirm curcumin turmeric can help reduce inflammation and support joint health.
For example, scientists have clear proof that curcumin is an “effective and safe alternative treatment for osteoarthritis,” the most common form of arthritis and often a debilitating bone and joint problem. Even more impressive is that turmeric improves joint discomfort when compared to ibuprofen (Advil).
- A Powerful Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a substance that slows cell damage. Antioxidants are protective compounds that the body needs to stay healthy and they are important in making the body’s immune system more efficient.
Multiple studies leave no question that curcumin and turmeric act as superhero antioxidants. And in terms of immune health, curcumin has a positive track record of boosting the body’s own defense system. It can be valuable in helping to promote antibody responses and gives the body a helping hand in fighting infections.
- Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The numbers are frightening, but true:
- Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States
- One person dies every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are key risk factors for heart issues, so, every single person should do everything they can for their heart health. And that includes considering a daily supplement of curcumin.
The antioxidant effects of curcumin has shown time and time again that it protects the cardiovascular system. Here are some of the ways this golden spice can be beneficial for cardiovascular health:
- Cholesterol Levels. No matter what your age, having high cholesterol is a major health concern. Elevated levels may increase fatty deposits in the arteries, restrict normal blood flow, and lead to heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.
Curcumin is a champion in this area. Research has demonstrated curcumin can improve blood flow (called endothelial function) and therefore, reduce the strain placed on the heart.
Curcumin also has benefits in lowering cholesterol levels. When taken regularly, there is medical research that illustrates there is a reduction in total cholesterol levels, as well as a decrease in LDL(the “bad”).
- This stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is described as an inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Several studies have demonstrated the possible benefits of curcumin in COPD. One clinical trial showed COPD “was significantly decreased in those taking curcumin…” providing hope for those suffering from this difficult affliction.
- Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is a common health ailment. It can quickly become very dangerous, even life-threatening. An estimated 103 millionS. adults suffer from high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, curcumin may be able to come to the rescue as a natural supplement to your doctor’s instructions. An analysis of eleven nationwide studies found that consuming curcumin may support healthy blood pressure levels. Plus, with this natural nutrient, there are little to no curcumin side effects.
- Supports Cognitive Function
Just about everyone wants to do whatever is possible to maintain their memory. A recent survey discovered that 49 percent of people are worried about developing some type of memory loss.
This concern about having a healthy brain is no surprise when you realize that:
- more than five million Americans are living with some form of dementia
- every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease
But there is some new hope. The potential of curcumin for brain health may be an exciting breakthrough:
- The results of a study conducted at UCLA found that curcumin improved memory and mood
- There are indications that curcumin can boost mental clarity, as well as reduce brain fog and mental fatigue
- Curcumin was found to be useful in attention and significant memory and attention benefits, possibly due to its may anti-inflammatory effects
- Mental Health
We are living in especially challenging times surrounded by many things we cannot control in our daily lives. For many, this results in mood changes and even depression.
Preliminary studies reveal that curcumin turmeric can help stabilize mood and combat anxiety. If you’re dealing with stress or severe fluctuations in your outlook, curcumin might be the supplement to help reduce some of these unwanted symptoms.
- Natural Detox for Liver Health
As the central filtration system in the body, the liver’s job is not only a tough one, but it is essential. New evidence suggests curcumin’s antioxidant activity acts as a detoxification agent in the body and can improve liver health. This research brings promising news if you’re looking for a natural liver cleanse or a way to flush out toxins.
- Digestive Health
If you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), curcumin turmeric may be able to help reduce the severity of these conditions. In a noteworthy study, significant improvements were found by people who took curcumin turmeric. Over 30 percent of people with IBS reported improvements in their symptoms and more favorable bowel patterns. Once again, the experts believe this likely due to the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What to Look for in a Curcumin Supplement
It is difficult to get curcumin benefits from food alone. You would have to eat an enormous amount of curry foods. Therefore, it makes sense to take a supplement.
Unfortunately, the major drawback of curcumin is that it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream when taken on its own.
But consuming black pepper, which contains the active ingredient piperine, absorption of curcumin is significantly enhanced. The data shows that bioavailability (absorption) increased by 2,000 percent in one human study!
Be sure to check the label of any curcumin supplement you purchase. Remember, the best curcumin formulas contain piperine to substantially increase the effectiveness of the product. So, make sure your curcumin turmeric is combined with piperine for the most effective results and maximum absorption.
And one other reminder…
Extracts for Effectiveness
Using the extract form of curcumin and piperine is necessary if you are to get the best results from your supplement. Using the extract means the amount in a formula will be standardized and consistent from bottle to bottle and provide optimum potency. This assures that every capsule has the precise amount of the active ingredient in each batch.
Many products do not take this step, making their formulas inferior and less effective.
Why Healthy Adults Need Curcumin. Too
You can see from this information that medical experts have investigated curcumin turmeric and have produced credible results as to how it can be used for overall health. This is data based on facts, not hearsay or anecdotes.
As a potent antioxidant, curcumin helps maintain a healthy immune system, protects joint health, and supports the heart. But perhaps its greatest achievement is the anti-inflammation properties curcumin delivers. This therapeutic advantage has brought relief to people worldwide.
Taking curcumin turmeric as part of your daily routine can help support overall wellness throughout your life.