Curcumin is a naturally occurring chemical compound that gives turmeric its color. It is an active component in turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin also possesses antimicrobial, anticancer, chemopreventive, and antioxidant properties which make it effective in protecting you from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and skin problems.
Here are 7 anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin.
Arthritis primarily affects the joints, causing inflammation and pain. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. By inhibiting the agents that initiate inflammation, curcumin can reduce inflammation and also reduce the damage caused to the bone cells. In both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, curcumin can reduce inflammation and joint damage.1
Curcumin can slow the progression of osteoarthritis and also relieve pain associated with it.2
Curcumin has anti-cancer properties and can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the body. Inflammation is caused as a defense against infections in the body. DNA damage caused due to chronic inflammation can eventually lead to cancer.3
As curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties, it targets the mediators in the body that initiate cancer progression. By doing this, it effectively prevents the initiation of a tumor and can also stop it from spreading.4
3. Heart Disease
Curcumin’s anti-thrombotic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects can protect you from heart disease. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, making it difficult for the blood to flow normally. This, in turn, increases the risk of heart diseases.
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries, making it difficult for the blood to flow normally. This, in turn, increases the risk of heart diseases. Atherosclerosis is linked to an inflammatory response in the body as this accumulation of plaque promotes the inflammatory response. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can protect you from heart diseases by inhibiting the progression of inflammation.5
AIDS is caused due to the HIV virus that attacks your immune system and in turn increasing your susceptibility to infections.
As this infection is thought to be caused due to inflammation, curcumin shows its anti-inflammatory effects on it to avoid inflammation and can thereby prevent and treat HIV-AIDS.6
Diabetes is a disease in which the levels of blood sugar are too high or too low due to the body’s inability to react to insulin or due to the insufficient production of insulin.
Insulin resistance caused due to inflammation can lead to type 2 diabetes. By preventing inflammation, the blood sugar levels in the body and regulated, which prevents diabetes and other complications associated with it.7
6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
An inflammatory bowel disease is a group of diseases that are characterized by inflammation of the digestive tract. Curcumin can prevent and also reduce the inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also prevents the migration of immune cells to affected site to avoid an immune response.8
7. Neurodegenerative Diseases
Inflammation is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.9 Curcumin can prevent inflammation and damage to the neurons by inhibiting the activity of the pro-inflammatory mediators that promote inflammation.10
Note: Curcumin may not completely cure the disease but could be used as a preventive agent.
|↑1||Henrotin, Yves, Fabian Priem, and Ali Mobasheri. “Curcumin: a new paradigm and therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis: curcumin for osteoarthritis management.” Springerplus 2, no. 1 (2013): 56.|
|↑2||Zhang, Zhuo, Daniel J. Leong, Lin Xu, Zhiyong He, Angela Wang, Mahantesh Navati, Sun J. Kim et al. “Curcumin slows osteoarthritis progression and relieves osteoarthritis-associated pain symptoms in a post-traumatic osteoarthritis mouse model.” Arthritis research & therapy 18, no. 1 (2016): 128.|
|↑3||Chronic Inflammation. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑4||Anand, Preetha, Chitra Sundaram, Sonia Jhurani, Ajaikumar B. Kunnumakkara, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Curcumin and cancer: an “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution.” Cancer letters 267, no. 1 (2008): 133-164.|
|↑5||Libby, Peter, Paul M. Ridker, and Attilio Maseri. “Inflammation and atherosclerosis.” Circulation 105, no. 9 (2002): 1135-1143.|
|↑6||Prasad, Sahdeo, and Amit K. Tyagi. “Curcumin and its analogues: a potential natural compound against HIV infection and AIDS.” Food & function 6, no. 11 (2015): 3412-3419.|
|↑7||Ghosh, Shatadal, Sharmistha Banerjee, and Parames C. Sil. “The beneficial role of curcumin on inflammation, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease: A recent update.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 83 (2015): 111-124.|
|↑8||Taylor, Rebecca A., and Mandy C. Leonard. “Curcumin for inflammatory bowel disease: a review of human studies.” Alternative Medicine Review 16, no. 2 (2011): 152.|
|↑9||Amor, Sandra, Fabiola Puentes, David Baker, and Paul Van Der Valk. “Inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.” Immunology 129, no. 2 (2010): 154-169.|
|↑10||Chen, Wei‑Wei, Xia Zhang, and Wen‑Juan Huang. “Role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.” Molecular medicine reports 13, no. 4 (2016): 3391-3396.|