Health benefits of Curcumin
General Nutrition • • 1 minute to read • By Zainab Cutlerywala, INFS Faculty
Author: Zainab Cutlerywala
The yellow tinge in the food comes from the spice called turmeric.
Turmeric contains chemicals that have therapeutic qualities and it has been used as a spice and a medicinal herb in India for decades. Science has recently begun to support traditional assertions of the compounds present in turmeric called Curcuminoids. Turmeric's major active component is curcumin. Curcumin has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of Curcumin.
Anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin:
The importance of inflammation cannot be overstated. When the body is attacked by foreign invaders it aids the body in fighting against it and also helps in the restoration of bodily damage.
Short-term or acute inflammation may be good, but it can become a problem if it becomes persistent and assaults your own tissues.
The presence of low-level chronic inflammation plays a role in a variety of health disorders and illnesses, according to scientists. Heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome are among them.
Alzheimer's disease is a kind of dementia, also many types of degenerative diseases.
Therefore, curcumin which helps in reducing inflammation has the potential to help prevent and treat these diseases.
While there is likely no easy answer to the question of inflammation, the main point of curcumin is that it is a bioactive chemical that can combat inflammation. Although high doses of it are required to show any medicinal properties.
Antioxidant Properties of Curcumin
Oxidative damage is one of the factors behind ageing and many illnesses.
Extremely reactive molecules with unpaired electrons, called as free radicals are involved. Essential chemical compounds such as fatty acids, proteins, and DNA are known to react with the free radicals.
Antioxidants are extremely important as they prevent the body from free radicals. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant with a molecular composition that may destroy free radicals.
According to animal and cellular studies its is seen that curcumin may also inhibit the activity of free radicals while stimulating the activity of other antioxidants, but more clinical human trials are needed to validate the statement.
Turmeric contains bioactive chemicals that have medicinal benefits.
Turmeric does not have a high curcumin level. By weight, it amounts to roughly 3%. The majority of trials on this plant employ turmeric preparations that are mainly curcumin, with daily doses often surpassing 1 gram.
Achieving the target of getting 1gm of curcumin only from using turmeric as a spice is a challenge.Therefore, people sought to take help from supplements.
Curcumin, on the other hand, is not easily absorbed in the circulation. Curcumin's bioavailability (the rate at which your body absorbs a substance) must improve in order to get its full benefits.
Combinining its intake with black pepper, which contains piperine, will be beneficial. Piperine is a natural chemical that boosts curcumin absorption by 2,000%. Most of the curcumin supplements also contain piperine which makes them extremely effective.
Curcumin is a fat-soluble substance therefore it is advised to take curcumin with a meal high in fat to facilitate its absorption.
Curcumin helps with heart health:
Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Researchers have researched it for decades and have learnt a great deal about why it occurs. Heart disease is, unsurprisingly, quite intricate, and a variety of factors play a role in its development.
Curcumin improves the function of the endothelium, which makes it so important where heart health is concerned as endothelium is the one which lines your blood vessels.
Endothelial dysfunction is a key cause of cardiovascular disease. When your endothelium is unable to control blood pressure, blood clotting, and a variety of other parameters, you have this condition.
Curcumin has been linked to improved heart health in several studies.Furthermore, one study discovered that it is just as helpful as exercise in postmenopausal women.
Curcumin can also help reduce inflammation and oxidation (as discussed earlier), all of which can contribute to heart disease.
In a research study 121 participants undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery were given either a placebo or 4 grammes of curcumin per day for a few days before and after the surgery. The curcumin group had a 65 percent lower risk of having a heart attack.
Curcumin and Cancer:
When cells start growing out of control it results in a disorder called as Cancer.
There are many types of cancers and curcumin supplements appear to have an effect on quiet few of them.
The cancer treatement herb is what curcumin is being explored for and it has been found that it can inhibit the growth and development of Cancer.
It has been demonstrated in studies that
it can help cancerous cells die.
Helps in reducing growth of new blood vessels in tumors also called angiogenesis
decreases metastasis (spread of cancer)
High doses of curcumin with piperine as an absorption enhancer may be used as a treatment for cancer in humans, but this is yet to be determined.
Anyhow, evidence says that it can help prevent cancer in the first place,especially tumours of the digestive system such as colorectal cancer.
A 30 day study was conducted in which 4 gms of curcumin per day showed reduced number of lesions by 40% in 44 men with lesions in the colon that could turn malignant.
Turmerics most active compound curcumin has the ability to show some scientifically proven health advantages like its anti-inflammatory property and antioxidant property. In addition it helps in maintaining heart health and may aid in prevention of cancer.
Though these benefits are possible, its limited because of curcumins less bioavailability and the need for more research.
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