Curcumin is one of the hottest health ingredients right now but what isit exactly and why is it so good for us?
Curcumin is the main active compound (also known as curcuminoid),in Turmeric, an ancient spice that is member of the ginger family. Curcumin on its own is poorly utilised by the body and needs to be combined with fats or black pepper extracts to increase its absorption and maximise its benefits.
For centuries, Curcumin has been used in Ayurvedic, Western Herbal andTraditional Chinese medicines as a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Ithas also traditionally been used as a liver protectant and digestive tonic to help reduce gas and bloating.
Curcumin possesses anti-malarial and antiseptic properties and has been used topically to treat skin conditions and wounds. The bright yellow/orange pigment in Curcumin also makes it a powerful antioxidant, that can help fight free radical damage within the body and support skin, eye and cardiovascular health.
Here are 5 key areas, that Curcumin can benefit your health:
Inflammation is a natural process in the body to fight off bacteria andviruses but it is also believed to be the cause of many chronic inflammatoryconditions such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and variousdegenerative conditions. Curcumin is one of nature’s best known fighters ofinflammation and targets inflammation in the body at a molecular level.
2. Relieve digestivediscomfort
Traditionally Curcumin was used to treat indigestion by stimulating theproduction of bile from the gall bladder. Some studies also suggest thatCurcumin helps to increase absorption of essential vitamins and minerals andpromote healthy intestinal flora. Curcumin can help to reduce digestivediscomfort such as gas and bloating, and prevent harmful bacteria from passingout through the digestive tract into other areas of the body.
3. Antioxidant support
Curcumin has significant antioxidant activity which helps to neutralizeharmful free radical molecules that cause premature ageing and are linked todegenerative and chronic diseases.
4. Joint pain
Curcumin is very effective in relieving joint pain andinflammation in conditions such as osteoarthritis and can help to increasejoint mobility. In some studies, Curcumin has been shown to be more effectivein reducing osteoarthritis pain and stiffness than ibuprofen.
5. Brain health
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Curcumin may alsosupport brain health including increasing alertness and working memory andreducing mental fatigue. There is also increasing evidence that it may helpreduce the symptoms of depression and support healthy mood.
Naksuriya, O. and Okonogi, S., 2015. Comparison and combination effectson antioxidant power of curcumin with gallic acid, ascorbic acid, andxanthone. Drug discoveries & therapeutics, 9(2),pp.136-141.
He, Y., Yue, Y., Zheng, X., Zhang, K., Chen, S. and Du, Z., 2015.Curcumin, inflammation, and chronic diseases: how are they linked?. Molecules, 20(5),pp.9183-9213.
Panahi, Y., Rahimnia, A.R., Sharafi, M., Alishiri, G., Saburi, A. andSahebkar, A., 2014. Curcuminoid treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a randomizeddouble‐blind placebo‐controlled trial. Phytotherapy research, 28(11),pp.1625-1631.
Henrotin, Y., Priem, F. and Mobasheri, A., 2013. Curcumin: a new paradigmand therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis: curcumin forosteoarthritis management. Springerplus, 2(1), p.56.