Exploring the Health Benefits of Curcumin

May 30, 2023

Martin Kuchynka

Curcumin, known for its wide-ranging health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant effects, and potential in cancer prevention and treatment, can be seamlessly incorporated into daily routines through dietary inclusion or supplements, offering a well-tolerated, versatile solution for enhancing overall health.

What we’ll talk about

Curcumin has a wide range of positive effects on health. It is used intuitively to treat diseases of the GI tract, against flatulation, nausea and various inflammations. Its effects are often long-lasting or permanent. Curcumin has a positive effect on the GI tract and an anti-inflammatory effect.

It is appropriate to use curcumin in restoring of the intestines and to help fight with other diseases. Curcumin also works as an excellent prevention for many types of cancer. Including turmeric in your diet seems to be the best solution as a prevention against various diseases, especially during treatments. There is no need to be scared to add it to your cooking, it does not have a very strong taste by itself. Curcumin is a well-tolerated substance and an overall body tonic, so it can be recommended to absolutely anyone. It has no negative side effects, even at large doses (doses up to 12 g have been tested in scientific experiments).

Effects of Curcumin on Health

Curcumin (hence the whole turmeric) is also relatively well known to almost all people, mainly for its beneficial effects on human digestion. In Indian and generally Asian cuisine, it is often found alongside coriander, cumin or fenugreek. It has always been used intuitively to treat diseases of the GI tract, against flatulation, nausea and various inflammations.

Positive Impact on Health: Unveiling the Potential

   -  Anti-inflammatory effect

   -  Antioxidant effect

   -  Antibacterial and antiviral effect

   -  Anticancer effect – As a prevention, as a support for treatment and alleviation of symptoms

   -  Improving digestion and treatment of the GI tract

   -  Gallbladder function support

   -  Improvement of liver function and detoxification

   -  Regeneration support – Enhance regeneration of muscle tissue and skin injuries

   -  Fat loss support – Epigenetic action, influencing genes responsible for energy metabolism and fat storage

   -  Antidiabetic effect – Improving insulin sensitivity and lowering glucose

   -  Immunity support – Especially in autoimmune diseases

   -  Neuroprotective functions

   -  Improving cognitive functions – Curcumin with better bioavailability (see bellow) has an effect on improving learning and memory because it supports BDNF – growth of new nerve cells and synapses

   -  Stress relief and antidepressant effects - The mechanism of action of curcumin is not fully mapped in all cases, but it is important to know that it acts as an epigenetic factor. Especially in its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity, where it has the ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes and genes and thus affect our genetics. As a result, its effects are often long-lasting or permanent – but of course it also depends on your lifestyle.

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect

Curcumin has the ability to increase the level of body antioxidants – glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase and reduces oxidative stress. The antioxidant effect is especially important for the protection of the liver, kidneys and brain, which are mostly affected by oxidative stress.

The anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin are then manifested mainly through the inactivation of enzymes and genes that stimulate inflammatory processes in the body. This can directly reduce whole-body inflammation that is present in inappropriate diet. Its anti-inflammatory effects are comparable to modern anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and what is more, it does not show negative side effects (unlike NSAIDs).

Anti-inflammatory effects are manifested at the level of digestion, but also in the case of autoimmune diseases – interesting is, for example, its effect on inflammation in the joints with rheumatoid arthritis. In such cases, the anti-inflammatory effect is combined with a strong immune-modulatory effect.

Positive effect on digestive tract

Curcumin has proven itself in the treatment of gastric ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases. Along with the improvement of the patients’ condition, there was also a reduction in overall inflammation, pain and overall improvement in digestion. The improvement in digestion also appears to be due to the fact that curcumin increases bile acid secretion, improves intestinal motility and promotes a healthy intestinal microflora.

Thanks to its positive effect on the GI tract and anti-inflammatory effect, it is appropriate to use curcumin in restoring of the intestines and to help fight with other diseases.

Anticancer effect

In the field of cancer treatment, the largest number of scientific studies have been conducted in connection with curcumin. In general, curcumin has one of the strongest effect on anti-tumor activity and, of course, also works as an excellent prevention. Curcumin works against cancer growth in a similar way as in the case of inflammation through epigenetic action.

The preventive effect against cancer is probably due to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial effects of curcumin. What more, the lowest incidence of cancer (especially GI tract and pancreas) is in localities where turmeric is commonly consumed and the daily dose is around 300 g.

Anticancer activity has been found in many types, especially gastrointestinal cancer (where it fights significantly against H. pylori as one of the causes of stomach ulcers and a high risk of cancer), prostate, breast and pancreatic cancers.

Forms of Curcumin: Maximizing Bioavailability

Navigating Forms of Curcumin

   -  Turmeric and curcumin itself – Curcumin as such and turmeric extract does not have very good bioavailability, it is very quickly metabolized and systemically degraded in the body. Its effects are still decent, especially for reducing local inflammation of the GI tract. However, turmeric itself will provide similar service (if you use it regularly and in doses greater than a pinch).

   -  Curcumin with black pepper extract – To improve bioavailability, its combination with bioperin (piperine, black pepper extract – this is reason why it is often added to resveratrol) is therefore good, which improves it by up to 2000%. However, the pure form of curcumin and its combination with bioperin is (may be) quite sufficient if you want to target the GI tract.

   -  Nano-curcumin – This form of curcumin is very rapidly absorbed by the human body and can be used for its effect outside the GI tract. At the same time, it can penetrate the protective brain barrier and thus target the brain and CNS.

   -  Liposomal curcumin – Curcumin is encapsulated in a so-called liposome – a spherical structure of lipid nature. In terms of absorption, this is the best form of curcumin (but also the most expensive).

Curcumin: Suitability and Recommendations

Curcumin for Everyone

It is a very well-tolerated substance and an overall body tonic, so it can be recommended to absolutely anyone. The great advantage of curcumin is the fact that it has no negative side effects, even at large doses (doses up to 12 g have been tested in scientific studies).

   -  Prevention – If you are relatively healthy, but you are still interested in enhancing your health and looking for various preventive measures, including turmeric in your regular diet is a great option

   -  If you suffer from any chronic illness – Curcumin in the appropriate form and in combination with other substances will play its part in reducing inflammation and at the genetic level, it will help your health where it is needed. Its inclusion should be considered especially in the case of autoimmune diseases.

Potential Side Effects

There are no known serious side effects with curcumin, but if you suffer from digestive problems, especially if you have reduced production of stomach acids and digestive enzymes, heartburn may occur after ingesting large amounts of curcumin. In this case, there is no easier solution than to divide the dose into several smaller doses throughout the day.

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