Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric.
Curcumin, a polyphenol compound is a principal pigment that gives a deep orange color to the Turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects along with being a strong anti-oxidant. Curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains Piperine, a natural substance that enhances absorption of Curcumin by 2,000%. Curcumin is also fat soluble so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty (healthy fat) meal.
Inflammation (short-term) can be beneficial as it helps the body fight foreign invaders and has a role in repairing damaged tissues. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us. However, if inflammation (long-term) it can become a major problem. Heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various other degenerative disorders can occur. Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory and is so powerful it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin blocks NFkB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases. Basically, Curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level.
Turmeric dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases. Curcumin neutralizes free radicals, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to improved brain function and a lower risk of brain diseases. Many common brain disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to decreased levels of BDNF. Curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF. Therefore, it may be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function. Also, there is a possibility it could help improve memory and even make you smarter!
Turmeric is also used for arthritis, heartburn, joint pain, ulcerative colitis, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), high cholesterol, headaches, fibromyalgia, and menstrual problem. Research suggests that taking Turmeric extract by mouth 2 times daily for 3 months may reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL= “bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides in overweight people with high cholesterol.
- Turmeric is likely UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting a pregnancy at risk. Do not take medicinal amounts of Turmeric if pregnant.
- Taking Turmeric might slow blood clotting and thus increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- Curcumin might decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes and cause their blood sugar to drop too low.
- Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. Do not take Turmeric if it worsens symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
Spice vs. Supplements and dosage:
Turmeric/Curcumin supplements should contain Bioperine (another name for Piperine), which is the substance that enhances absorption of Curcumin by 2000%. Without this substance, most of the Curcumin just passes through your digestive tract.
To achieve therapeutic benefits, you will likely need to take a supplement that standardizes Curcumin. Find labels that read 95% Curcumin. Turmeric dosages must supply 400-600 mg of Curcumin 3 times a day to see therapeutic benefits according to New York University Langone Medical Center.
As a dried powdered root, you can take 1 to 3 grams per day according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you have the cut root at hand, 1.5 to 3 grams per day is the dose and if you have a 1-to-1 fluid extract take 30 to 90 drops per day.
Turmeric and its extract Curcumin are recognized as safe by the FDA. Only stomach side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are noted. Ulcers were noted in extreme cases and if you have gallbladder disease, talk to your doctor before taking Turmeric.
For high cholesterol in adults, by mouth, take 1.4 grams Turmeric extract, divided into 2 doses daily for 3 months. For pruritis (itching), take 1,500 mg of Turmeric, divided into 3 doses for 8 weeks.
Ways to take Turmeric (spice) in food:
- Add to scrambled eggs or tofu
- Toss in with roasted vegetables
- Add to rice dishes
- Use in soups
- Add to curries and chicken dishes
Enjoy getting healthier with this miracle spice Turmeric!