Let’s take a closer look at Turmeric. Turmeric is an old Indian spice, it is yellow in colour and has been used for thousands of years as a spice and a medicinal herb. It may well be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence and the reason for this is the medicinal compound called curcumin. A large number of studies show that it has major benefits for the brain and body.
Turmeric contains compounds with medicinal properties. The compounds are called curcuminoids, and the most important compound is called curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, it has incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body along with strong antioxidant properties.
The turmeric that we use in cooking, i.e., the powdered form, does not contain a high content of curcumin. It is only around 3% by weight. Therefore it would be difficult to reach the beneficial levels of curcumin, by just using the turmeric spice in your food. So to experience the full beneficial effects of this important compound you need to take an extract containing significant amounts of curcumin.
One disadvantage of curcumin is that it is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. To aid this absorption, it is recommended to consume it with black pepper: Taka Turmeric with Black Pepper Extract Capsules contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be helpful to take it with a fatty food.
Curcumin has been proven to be a strong anti-inflammatory. In fact its effectiveness matches that of some anti-inflammatory drugs without the undesirable side effects. Curcumin actually targets the multiple steps in the inflammatory pathways at the molecular level. The main point I am making here is that curcumin is bioactive substance that fights inflammation right down at the molecular level. Arthritis is a very common condition involving the inflammation of the joints, given the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, it is shown to be of benefit to patients suffering from joint pains.
Chronic low level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic Western disease including heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various other degenerative conditions. Therefore curcumin can help fight chronic inflammation, and is important in the prevention and treatment of these diseases.
Another advantage of this wonderful spice called turmeric is that it dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body. Oxidative damage involving free radicals (highly reactive molecules with impaired electrons) is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals due to is chemical structure. It also boosts the ability of the body’s own antioxidant mechanism.
Curcumin can also be linked to increased brain function and a decreased risk of brain disease. It can be effective at delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age related decreases in brain function. It has certainly help me to improve my memory and many friend and relatives will testify the same improvements.
Another outstanding ability of curcumin is that it may help to reverse the steps in the heart disease process. Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease, is that it improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels. Curcumin also decreases inflammation and oxidative damage which are also important in the heart disease process.
Turmeric can help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer. Cancer is shown up in the body by uncontrolled growth of cells. Different cancer cells do have several commonalities, some of which appear to be affected by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin can affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. Multiple studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumours in test animals.
Curcumin may also be useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. As there is no good treatment available for Alzheimer’s yet, preventing it from showing up is of great importance. Inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s as you know, curcumin has a beneficial effect on both.
A last but not least benefit of curcumin is its incredible benefits against depression. Curcumin can be as effective as an anti-depressant. There is evidence that curcumin can boost brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, helping to alleviate symptoms of depression.
If there is any one supplement that you are willing to take, than this should be it! I highly recommend you buy one with bioperine (another name for piperine), which is the substance that enhances absorption of curcumin by 2000%.