Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. It is believed to be used in India for more than 6000 years, as a medicine, dye, a spice, and a beauty aid. Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been used to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, and regulate menstruation.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is an antioxidant. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that cause damage to the cells as they traverse through the body. Antioxidants are natural substances that may stop or limit the damage caused by free radicals. Curcumin are proven to have strong antioxidant action demonstrated by the inhibition of the formation and propagation of free radicals. Approximately 1000 mg of turmeric has 20 to 60 mg of curcumin.
Curcumin found in Turmeric is the important ingredient responsible for delaying liver damage. Studies have shown that turmeric increases important detoxification enzymes in your liver and increases bile flow. In experimental animal studies, it has been shown to inhibit liver damage from aflatoxin and other liver toxins. 2010 research from St Louis has shown that it can turn off a protein called Leptin, which causes liver damage. Curcuminhas also exhibited hepatoprotection similar to that of silymarin and glycyrrhizin against carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine-induced liver injury.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Curcumin, might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A study, curcumin was found to be safe and equally effective as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee. İn study, rheumatoid arthritis patients were given either 1,200 mg of curcumin or 300 mg of phenylbutazone every day. At the end of the study, both groups had significant improvements in morning stiffness, walking time, and joint swelling. Curcumin reduces many chemicals made by the body when inflammation is present, including the pain-producing substance COX-2. CoX-2 is an enzyme responsible for causing pain and inflammation. The curcuminoids inhibit 5-lipooxygenase (LOX) and cyclooxygenase (COX), resulting in a well-established anti-inflammatory action. At least in the test tube, curcumin and other chemicals found in turmeric have been shown to inhibit the COX-2 and LOX enzymes involved in the inflammatory response. Another study found curcumin substantially suppresses systemic inflammation markers MMP-3 by 48% to 99%, and MMP-13 by 45% to 97%.
Researchs suggests that turmeric may afford protection against neurodegenerative diseases. Amyloid protein plaque buildup is one of the primary factors that characterizes Alzheimer’s disease. When injected peripherally, curcumin was found to cross the blood-brain barrier in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease. Animal research published in the 2001 issue of the “Journal of Neuroscience” found curcumin, reduces brain cell damage and inhibits the formation of protein plaques, which are often present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin has a lipophilic property and can pass through all cell membranes and thus exerts its intracellular effects. A 2003 study published in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry found that curcumin turns on the gene hemeoxygenase-1 in the hippocampal part of the brain. A 2004 study with mice published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggested that curcumin might be of help for Alzheimer’s patients. A study conducted at UCLA found that curcumin may help the macrophages to clear the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. When paired with vitamin D, curcumin may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Like curcumin, vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. A study, revealed that vitamin D3 together with curcumin may help stimulate your immune system to clear your brain of amyloid beta, thereby helping to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Turmeric may help reduce Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. IBS, causes a mixture of symptoms including severe abdominal pain, bloating of the tummy, diarrhoea oralternating diarrhoea and constipation. Turmeric may help by reducing inflammation and abnormal muscle contractions in the bowel. Researchers found that standardised turmeric extracts can provide significant relief from the Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms such as abdominal pain and flatulence. Research conducted at the University of Reading has shown that a daily dose of a turmeric extract supplement, can help relieve the symptoms of IBS, with 66 per cent of the study group reporting a definite or some improvement in their overall symptoms. This study shows that turmeric extracts can play a role in improving Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and health-related quality of life in otherwise healthy adults. A study published in 2007 in the American Journal of Physiology by a team from the University of New Mexico shows that it may also be helpful for Crohn’s disease.
Help treat deadly cystic fibrosis, according to a study by Yale University scientists. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that is caused in the majority of cases by a mutation in the Delta-F508 gene that subsequently produces a misfolded Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) protein. It attacks patients’ lungs with a thick mucus, causing life-threatening infections. Most eventually die from lung damage or infection. Researchers from Toronto University and the University of Yale found that curcumin treatment released the protein and enabled cells and membranes to function normally, at least in mice. The journal Science reported in their April 2004 issue that curcumin has countered in mice, the genetic damage that leads to cystic fibrosis, a lung disorder.
Turmeric Cancer Benefits
Evidence from test tube and animal studies suggests that turmeric may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including breast, prostate colon and skin cancer. Also, turmeric (curcumin) was found to suppress cancer cell proliferation and to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in the lung cancer cells. Animal studies indicate curcumin may inhibit cyclophosphamide in treating breast cancer. Rodent studies at the “University of Texas” indicate that curcumin inhibits the growth of a skin cancer, melanoma and slows the spread of breast cancer into the lungs. Curcumin also potentiated gemcitabine action in vitro and in vivo studies of pancreatic cancer. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer. The results of a study reported in the December 2010 issue of Cancer, Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals show that curcumin, induces leukemia cell death. A another study found that daily turmeric intake for 9 months contributed to regression of precancerous lesions in the mouths of humans. Therefore, curcumin may be especially beneficial for smokers. A 2007 study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. Test by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy gullet cancer cells in the laboratory. Dr Sharon McKenna and colleagues found that curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours.
Standardized Extract: 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day. (standardized 95% curcuminoids). Tincture : 15 to 30 drops of tincture four times a day. Bioavailability of curcumin is approximately 60% following oral administration. To further increase absorbability, the supplement should have enteric coating to protect it from stomach acids. turmeric often is formulated with bromelain or in a lipid base of lecithin, fish oils, or essential fatty acids. Curcumin and other components of turmeric are degraded rapidly in your intestines. Turmeric combined with black pepper is the best way to introduce curcumin into the body. Piperine, a chemical found in black pepper, inhibits the enzymes that break down
curcumin. Researchers at St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, found that combining turmeric with black pepper may significantly increase the body’s ability to use it. According to a study, curcumin taken with 20 mg of piperine increased the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.