4 Overlooked Health Benefits of Curcumin (it’s more than just a spice).
Health Benefits of Curcumin
Turmeric has been used as a spice, dye, and remedy to promote health and wellness. One of the most popular spices in Indian cuisine and a primary ingredient in curry powders. While turmeric has a long history of health benefits, it’s also used to add color and as a preservative and is perhaps best known for its spicy flavor.
The majority of the health benefits of turmeric comes from curcumin. This antioxidant is what gives turmeric its yellow pigment. Curcumin is the most abundant of turmeric’s curcuminoid compound, which makes up about 3 – 5% of turmeric.
While turmeric contains some curcumin, it is in relatively minimal amounts. So, you’d likely need to consume substantial amounts of turmeric to get a meaningful amount of curcumin (several grams at least).
Not All Curcumin Is Equal
The health benefits of curcumin are limited by very poor bioavailability, unfortunately. And naturally, if you don’t absorb it, you can’t reap the expected health benefits. Therefore, several strategies have been used to improve its absorption. And while some have shown promise, a new water-soluble formulation (CurcuWIN®) demonstrated 46 times greater absorption than standard curcumin powder.
Many turmeric/curcumin extracts may contain residues of the highly toxic solvent “EDC,” a known carcinogen (above the established safety limit). So, be careful to pick an absorbable form of curcumin that’s free from this solvent!
Overlooked Health Benefits of Curcumin
Curcumin is one of the most well-researched herbs there is. What does all this research say about curcumin? It turns out curcumin has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects (to help ward off bacteria, fungi, and viruses).
Its ability to promote a healthy inflammatory response may be its best-known benefit. Curcumin supports the body’s inflammatory response, by helping to ensure levels of several key inflammatory markers are in a normal, healthy range.
Contributes to the following health benefits:
- Studies have shown curcumin may help promote brain health and function, supporting cognitive function, mood, and mental health.
- The heart health benefits of curcumin have been to increase the antioxidant capacity. It also promotes healthy levels of inflammatory response and helps maintain healthy blood flow.
- It’s best known for helping ease joint discomfort and stiffness. In an 8-month trial, curcumin supplementation led to a 93% (wow!) reduction in joint discomfort. Furthermore, the placebo group experienced just a 12% decrease in pain discomfort. Therefore, less joint pain and stiffness means more freedom to do the things you love and an overall improved quality of life!
- Curcumin induces an antioxidant response both directly and indirectly by scavenging free radicals. Furthermore, it’s has a valuable protective effect on the mitochondria, which are responsible for energy production.
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In conclusion about Curcumin
Both the scientific research and real-world results suggest there are numerous health benefits of curcumin. So, as potentially valid as it may be, curcumin is not the end all, be all.
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