You might know turmeric as the yellow colored, ginger-like spice often used in Asian dishes. While it is a popular ingredient in the kitchen, turmeric is also often used as a natural cure for a number of health issues. This is thanks to a substance called curcumin, which is its primary active ingredient. Adults can consume about 400–600 mg of turmeric powder about 3 times a day to get an adequate intake of curcumin. If you’re wondering how curcumin in turmeric can help you, read on to know its amazing health benefits.
5 Health Benefits Of Curcumin In Turmeric
1. Reduces Inflammation
When you are infected by foreign substances like germs or pollutants, your body responds with inflammation. While short-term inflammation is good for you, chronic inflammation is often a sign of something serious.
Curcumin, which is turmeric’s major active ingredient, has been found to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of a molecule called NF-κB, which is responsible for inflammation.1 This makes curcumin in turmeric great for reducing the risk of a number of serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s in addition to reducing the symptoms of chronic inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis.
2. Possesses Antioxidant Properties
Curcumin in turmeric has also been found to combat free radicals in your body, making it a great antioxidant.2 It does this by neutralizing any free radicals that enter your body along with stimulating the body’s existing antioxidant enzymes. These free radicals cause damage to cells and DNA and hence are responsible for several chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
The antioxidant property of curcumin in turmeric is also what makes it popular for skin-related aging problems such as wrinkles.
3. Helps Combat Heart Disease
In addition to preventing oxidative damage, which plays a role in heart disease, curcumin may improve the functioning of the lining of blood vessels called the endothelium. This prevents the occurrence of endothelial dysfunction, which is also responsible for heart disease and problems with blood clotting and blood pressure.3
4. Great For Brain Health
Curcumin has been found to increase the levels of a substance called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for the development of neurons and hence brain functioning. This, in turn, may aid in slowing down the symptoms of age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s.4
5. May Prevent And Reduce Risk Of Cancer
Research suggests that curcumin in turmeric may reduce the growth of blood vessels in tumors and prevent cancer cells from spreading.5 It may also prevent the occurrence of digestive cancers when identified in the initial stages.
When taken in recommended doses, curcumin in turmeric doesn’t normally have side effects. However, consuming it in excess may give some people a stomach upset. It’s also not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Curcumin may also interact with any medicines you may be taking. So, consult your doctor before you start consuming it.
|↑1||Singh, Sanjaya, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Activation of transcription factor NF-κB is suppressed by curcumin (diferuloylmethane).” Journal of Biological Chemistry 270, no. 42 (1995): 24995-25000.|
|↑2||Biswas, Saibal K., Danny McClure, Luis A. Jimenez, Ian L. Megson, and Irfan Rahman. “Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-κB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity.” Antioxidants & redox signaling 7, no. 1-2 (2005): 32-41.|
|↑3||Wongcharoen, Wanwarang, and Arintaya Phrommintikul. “The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases.” International journal of cardiology 133, no. 2 (2009): 145-151.|
|↑4||Begum, Aynun N., Mychica R. Jones, Giselle P. Lim, Takashi Morihara, Peter Kim, Dennis D. Heath, Cheryl L. Rock et al. “Curcumin structure-function, bioavailability, and efficacy in models of neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.” Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 326, no. 1 (2008): 196-208.|
|↑5||Ravindran, Jayaraj, Sahdeo Prasad, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Curcumin and cancer cells: how many ways can curry kill tumor cells selectively?.” The AAPS journal 11, no. 3 (2009): 495-510.|