Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry powder. IT has been called one of the most powerful disease fighting plants known to man! Interest in Curcumin, the main chemical constituent of turmeric has grown wildly recently. This has been in no small part due to the fact that over 6,235 peer-reviewed articles have found time and time again that it is in fact a miracle worker in the body.
Many of these studies have come to an extremely interesting conclusion. When compared to the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs, curcumin equaled or almost equaled the effects of actual prescription medication. Some studies suggest it is even more beneficial due to it’s lack of side effects.
Here are just a few of the many drugs Turmeric has been reported to match or beat.
Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Celecoxib, Metformin, Azathioprine and mercaptopurine, Prozac and other SSRIs, Corticosteroids, DMARDs and many more.
How does Curcumin do so many things?
Curcumin helps ease inflammation by blocking the effects of two enzymes in the body which cause inflammation. The two enzymes, 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase-2, have been found to encourage and sustain swelling and inflammation in the human body. Blocking these enzymes reduces pain and the risk of other medical conditions that develop as a result of inflammation.
What are some of these conditions?
- Heart Disease, High blood pressure, High cholesterol levels
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Chronic Peptic Ulcer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Periodontitis
- Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Chronic Hepatitis
Turmeric For Heart Disease
The medical community in general has shown little interest in curcumin and it’s role in heart health. This is despite the many and varied studies proving again and again it’s benefit. Curcumin has been called and proven to be a cardioprotective substance.
In one study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, they showed that turmeric extract reduced post-bypass heart attack risk by 56%. Another study published by the journal Nutrition Research in 2012 showed that curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric was as effective as exercise in improving circulatory function in postmenopausal women. Those impressive results have caused some to call curcumin “exercise in a bottle”.
Another compelling new study found in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism has shown that a daily dose of curcumin significantly improved the blood vessels of healthy adults within a span of two months. The study shed light on what is believed to be the central cause of cardiovascular disease, the inability of the inner lining of blood vessels to open (vasodilation).
Since curcumin has such a great effect on the heart, it makes perfect sense to include it with a nitric oxide booster as it’s effects are synergistic.
Turmeric & Cancer
Many studies have proven that curcumin helps prevent various types of cancer including lung, stomach, breast, hepatic (liver) and colon. It halts cancer growth by interfering with the cellular signaling cancer uses to grow.
Studies have proven curcumin can…
- Kill lymphoma cells
- Inhibit COX-2, an inflammatory enzyme which can increase cancer risk
- Preventing regrowth of cancer stem cells
- Starve cancer cells of their oxygen and fuel source
- Turn on anti tumor genes
- Stop metastasis of cancer cells
Curcumin is not well absorbed in the blood but it is in the colon , this fact gives it a distinct advantage in fighting cancerous tissues in the colon. Curcumin also tackles prostate cancer by modulating sex hormone receptors in the prostate gland. It has also been shown to be effective in the prevention of cervical cancer. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory property blocks the human papilloma virus and activates cancer cell death within the uterine lining.
Curcumin for Diabetes
Many studies suggest that curcumin can in fact decrease the level of blood glucose. Researchers also reported that curcumin may also be effective for diabetes prevention. It has been found that turmeric extract stabilizes blood sugar levels and in turn makes diabetes more easily controllable.
One very interesting study, published by the American Diabetic Association found turmeric extract to be 100% effective in preventing pre-diabetics from developing type 2 diabetes. You would think this would be all over the news. Sadly, the pharmaceutical industry can make no money from this, and they need you to be sick to exist.
Chronic peptic ulcers
Curcumin may also help people with ulcers. There is a big caveat here. It all depends on what the cause of the ulcers is. If it’s high stomach acid, some studies show that it will not help. If however, you are like many and have as a root cause the Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, which is causing the ulcer, then turmeric is your friend.
The Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause peptic ulcers. Treatment can be difficult and currently available medications do not help to ease symptoms. In a recent study curcumin was show to stop growth of all the H.pylori types and strains. Mice infected with H.pylori were given curcumin and were shown to be protected from gastric damage by curcumin intake. This study proves that turmeric has potential in treating H.pylori infections and diseases caused by it such as gastritis.
Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Several recent studies have shown curcumin to have anti-inflammatory abilities and have proven it’s role in modification of immune system responses. A 2010 clinical trial found that a curcumin supplement provided long-term improvement in pain and functionality. A study done in 2012 on people with active rheumatoid arthritis showed that the individuals who were given curcumin saw decreased Disease Activity Scores as well as a decrease in the number of tender and/or swollen joints over the group not given curcumin. In addition, no adverse effects were seen in the individuals taking curcumin.
Turmeric and Chronic Periodontitis
In a recent study Twenty-five patients participated in a trial of two randomized groups. All had been diagnosed with chronic periodontitis. In this study curcumin was inserted deep within the periodontal pockets, and sites were covered with periodontal dressings. In the end, the curcumin gel group yielded significant improvement over the control group when comparing them against one another via intergroup analysis. These results tended to gain in statistical significance in later time intervals, implying continued improvements over time and with multiple applications of curcumin.
In the past few years several studies have substantiated curcumin’s effectiveness and supported its therapeutic potential as an armament to protect patients from the ravages of serious and chronic disease.
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
A study was conducted on curcumin and its benefits for patients with ulcerative colitis. The study was was a randomized, double-blind, multi-center trial. 45 patients were given 1g curcumin after breakfast and a similar dosage after the evening meal. It was determined based on endoscopy examinations and through a symptom rating scale that those treated with curcumin suffered fewer disease symptoms on an average compared to those given the placebo. The conclusion was made that turmeric is a safe and promising medication that may be used in the treatment of quiescent ulcerative colitis.
Another study was done to determine the use of curcimon in the prevention of ulcerative colitis. Male Swiss albino rats were given dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) for 5 days to induce colitis. One group was given 100mg/kg curcumin for 7 days before being given DSS. The rats being given curcumin suffered less weight loss than the control group. Typical symptoms of ulcerative colitis that were induced by DSS like infiltration of inflammatory cells, thickening of intestinal walls and mucosal ulceration were much reduced. Researchers believed that the reason could be the antioxidant properties of turmeric and inhibition of NF kappa-B a cellular inflammatory agent. Curcumin may play a protective role by regulating anti-oxidant balance and modulating release of certain inflammatory endocoids in cases of ulcerative colitis. It was also found that even small doses of < 0.25% turmeric was sufficient to provide protection and this could be got by including this spice in food.
Curcumin and Chronic Sinusitis
When the nasal tissues are inflamed (sinusitis), the airways are blocked, trapping the mucus in the sinuses. The trapped mucus then creates an environment that is perfect for growth of bacteria and viruses. The Trapped mucus then places excessive pressure on the surrounding areas of your head causing pain and inflammation. Since curcumin reduces inflammation and may even reduce the allergic symptoms that caused the sinusitis in the first place, curcumin works on all fronts to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
Curcumin and Chronic Hepatitis
Turmeric has a unique property that helps fight the Hepatitis C virus. Although it may not be as potent as one of the new Hepatitis C antiviral drug combinations, a study published in a 2014 edition of the journal Gut evaluated affordable antiviral strategies targeting the early stages of Hepatitis C infection.
The researchers looked at the potency of turmeric as a Hepatitis C entry inhibitor. They determined that turmeric inhibited Hepatitis C entry regardless of viral genotype. In human liver cells, the researchers concluded that turmeric affected membrane fluidity by impairing Hepatitis C virus binding and fusion. Supplementing with turmeric provides an inexpensive means of protecting liver cells from being infected with Hepatitis C.
Some doctors are being advised now that curcumin supplementation is indicated during both Hepatitis B and C infection and during their treatments.