Curcumin: 6 Surprising Benefits That Will Boost Your Health
Table of Contents [Jump to Sections]
- 1. Curcumin has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect
- 2. Curcumin has antioxidant properties
- 3. Curcumin helps reduce the risk of cerebrovascular disease
- 4. Curcumin can reduce the risk of heart disease
- 5. Curcumin can reduce stomach pain
- 6. Boosts the immune system
Curcumin is the bioactive substance of turmeric and is responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of this plant. Turmeric is a yellow root and belongs to the ginger family, this plant is native to South Asia, and is popular in Indian cuisine and Ayuverdic medicine due to its benefits.
Curcumin is the main bioactive compound in turmeric and is characterised by its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The antioxidant power of curcumin helps protect cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, allowing DNA to be protected from cellular damage. This antioxidant effect is important for the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases.
The curcumin present in turmeric has a strong anti-inflammatory effect because it is capable of inhibiting pro-inflammatory substances such as cytokines, it can also inhibit the production of prostaglandins, this substance is responsible for pain in inflammatory processes. 1
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, the consumption of turmeric is recommended for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, in fact, some studies even compare the potency of curcumin with certain anti-inflammatory drugs.
Short-term acute inflammation helps the body repair damage and protects against dangerous bacteria. However, if the inflammation becomes chronic, it can harm the body. Studies show that chronic inflammation can cause diseases like metabolic syndrome, cancer, Alzheimer's, or heart disease.
Curcumin has antioxidant properties due to its chemical structure, therefore curcuminoids can neutralize free radicals, make them harmless, and reduce cell damage. Furthermore, curcumin also enhances the activity of the body's natural antioxidants such as vitamins and minerals.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals. Oxidative damage is caused by free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules. Free radicals react with organic substances like fatty acids, proteins, or DNA and can cause disease and accelerate aging processes. 2
Curcumin increases the concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF). Curcumin offers an effective way to delay the deterioration of age-related brain functions or even prevent brain disease.
BDNF is a type of growth hormone that is active in the brain. Some brain dysfunctions, such as depression or Alzheimer's disease, have been linked in scientific studies to reduced levels of BDNF. 3
Curcumin strengthens the functionality of the endothelium and the heart muscle. The endothelium is a vascular lining that regulates the exchange of substances between the blood and the vessels. Decreased endothelial function affects the regulation of blood pressure and blood clotting and is a major cause of heart disease. Due to its endothelial strengthening effect, curcumin reduces the risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death worldwide. Heart disease is very complex and is influenced by many different factors. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antithrombotic, and cardiovascular effects, curcumin may reduce the risk of heart disease. 4
Curcuminoids, especially curcumin, help alleviate indigestion and stomach pain. Curcumin promotes the digestion of fats in the stomach and intestines, therefore, it prevents bloating after eating high-fat foods.
Curcumin also helps with constipation because it stimulates intestinal peristalsis. Bloating, flatulence and stomach pain are typical symptoms of a slow digestive system, curcumin helps improve these discomforts.
In addition to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin, it also has antimicrobial effects, its antiseptic capacity can reduce pathogenic bacterial growth, while at the cellular level it can enhance the response of immune cells, improving the immune response against pathogens.
Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the imbalance of insulin levels and high blood glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes is the one that the body does not produce insulin and type 2 diabetes, which is the most common, is the one that the body cannot produce insulin adequately or sufficiently so that glucose stays in the blood.
Curcumin can reduce the impact caused by diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Curcumin supplementation (for at least 9 months) has been shown to help pre-diabetics preserve their pancreatic function and improve insulin sensitivity.
What is so healthy must have a catch, right? No, in studies published so far, there were no side effects at normal doses.
There are also a few side effects of excessive intake of turmeric and curcumin. If you experience any stomach upset, diarrhoea or flatulence, reduce the dose of curcumin or stop taking it until you consult your doctor.
You don't need as much curcumin to benefit from all the positive effects. Consistent, long-term intake is much more important
Turmeric in addition to curcumin, also contains vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals that are capable of providing many health benefits. Curcumin is associated with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus because it improves the response to insulin.
Turmeric is considered a superfood because of curcumin's health benefits, which are ideal for disease prevention and health improvement, take the time to consider all the benefits you can get by incorporating curcumin into your life.
To get the most out of curcumin, it is recommended to consume it accompanied by black pepper because it contains a substance called piperine, which is responsible for increasing the absorption of curcumin in the body.
Incorporating turmeric into your meals will not only provide an exotic colour but will also help you obtain the curcumin and nutrients necessary for your health.