Anti-Inflammatory Health Benefits of Curcumin and Turmeric
Quite possibly one of the most touted curcumin health benefits is its powerful anti-inflammatory property. By helping to kick inflammation to the curb, turmeric and curcumin can do wonders for the skin, joints, gastrointestinal tract and so much more.
While a healthy amount of inflammation is crucial for keeping bad bacteria (i.e., pathogens that cause illness) in check, when inflammation gets out of hand for an extended period of time, this can lead to short and long term health problems. An excessive amount of chronic inflammatory stress associated with a hyperactive immune system can wreak havoc on the body’s systems. Long-term inflammation has been correlated with inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Luckily, curcumin supplements like Premium Curcumin Turmeric can help to play a significant role in keeping inflammation at bay! At a molecular level, curcumin has been shown to block an important pro-inflammatory nuclear factor known as NF-kB. By thwarting this molecule, curcumin prevents it from traveling into the nuclei of the cells and turning on pro-inflammatory genes. Studies show that this particular property of curcumin might even make it more powerful than well known anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. This means that supplementing with curcumin can promote faster skin healing in those suffering from psoriasis or chronic acne, faster reduction in joint pain in arthritic individuals, and strengthened intestinal mucosa in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Better yet, curcumin is all natural and does not have any adverse side effects (unless taken in excess).
Health Benefits of Curcumin and Turmeric
1: Relieves Occasional Aches and Pains
Generally speaking, curcumin's anti-inflammatory capacity helps to reduce mediators of inflammation like interleukins, prostaglandins, and other proinflammatory cytokines, thereby decreasing the pain sensation. More specifically, supplementing with curcumin and turmeric can lead to a significant reduction in joint pain for those suffering from arthritis. By protecting bone materials, mediating inflammation, and upregulating antioxidant activity, turmeric can help to relieve the pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. This means curcumin supplements can do a world of good when it comes to bone and joint health.
2: Anti-Inflammatory Benefits for Skin Health
For everything from helping acne to scar prevention and resolution and even anti-aging: turn to curcumin as your herb of choice for skin health. The antimicrobial properties of the turmeric root help to fend off pathogenic acne-causing bacteria. Curcumin supplements can also promote improved and expedited skin repair and reduction of skin rashes, which is especially pertinent for those suffering from psoriasis, eczema or with skin wounds, scarring, or topical tissue damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin accelerate wound healing and fend off blemishes and irritation, thereby helping to keep the skin spotless and radiant.
3: Improved Gut Microbial Health
Curcumin exhibits a multitude of positive effects on the digestive system, beginning with its ability to help maintain a healthful microbial balance. Curcumin selectively extinguishes pathogenic bacteria like H. pylori (a pathogenic bacteria known to cause ulcers) and promotes the growth of health-supportive microbes. By keeping the gut bacteria in check and the digestive process smooth and efficient, curcumin thereby helps to decrease symptoms of gas, bloating, acid reflux, irregular bowel movements and much more. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help to soothe ulcers and drive down the chronic inflammation and endothelial irritation characteristic of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
4: Benefits for Brain Health & Mental Health
Good for the body, but also the mind…
Clinical evidence indicates that supplementation with curcumin may indeed be a therapeutic option for the management of depression and/or bipolar disorder, yet another one of the health benefits of turmeric. And curcumin can be a great mood booster! Clinical research has examined and confirmed curcumin's ability to stabilize mood. While mood can be impacted by a variety of factors, a large one is systemic inflammation which can affect the brain and mood. Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and impact proinflammatory cytokines. Additionally, curcumin can stimulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which helps to maintain healthy neurological tissue in the brain. In other words, curcumin can be a great natural way to help manage depression and improve your mood!
And when it comes to brain health, curcumin mind-enhancing properties don’t stop there. Future research is focusing on the potential role for curcumin supplements in the treatment and prevention of degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which we know is fundamentally an inflammatory condition. Given turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects, it may one day be considered a natural healing remedy for serious diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia that affect the brain and memory. So adding a few healthy doses of curcumin or turmeric to your daily routine may indeed help keep you sharp and alert in the long run.
Curcumin and Turmeric Antioxidant Health Benefits
Aside from its ability to regulate inflammation, perhaps one of the other top curcumin health benefits is its antioxidant potency. Curcumin helps detoxify the body by enhancing liver function and stimulating the lymphatic system, which in turn assists in removal of toxic waste.
When it comes to aging, cancer and a variety of other common Western diseases, the buildup of harmful oxidative compounds in the body is often largely to blame. These compounds, known as free radicals, are highly reactive and can adversely affect a host of important proteins in the body as well as cellular DNA. When curcumin comes into the picture, however, it has the ability to stop free radicals in their tracks. And it doesn’t stop there. The antioxidant property of curcumin is a two-fold “superpower”! Aside from squashing free radicals on its own, curcumin also stimulates the production of the body’s own antioxidant defense mechanisms.
As both an antioxidant itself and an anti-oxidant enhancer, one of the health benefits of turmeric supplements is that curcumin helps to protect against cell damage. This in turn mediates a multitude of positive effects in the body, which includes boosting the immune system, protecting the brain, and keeping the eyes and skin healthy. When it comes to anti-aging and cancer prevention, we cannot overemphasize the center-stage role that antioxidants play.
5: May Aid In Cancer Prevention
Since curcumin scavenges free radicals, it has the power to preferentially protect healthy cells from the DNA damage that accompanies carcinogenesis. The anti-cancer capacity of curcumin, however, is multifaceted: coupled with its defense of the body’s healthy, normal cells, curcumin also has the ability to potentially destroy cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (aka, programmed cell death). Additionally, curcumin may be able to thwart metastasis (i.e., the spread of cancer). One of the ways it does this is by halting the production of new blood vessels, (aka, angiogenesis). By helping to starve a growing tumor of its blood supply, curcumin may aid in kicking cancer to the curb.
6: Helpful In Anti-Aging
By curtailing the accumulation of harmful free radicals, turmeric protects skin cells from DNA damage. To put it simply, curcumin can act as a powerful anti-aging agent by combating wrinkles, sun damage and age-associated pigmentation. As an antioxidant, curcumin and turmeric keeps your skin smooth, glowing, and utterly ageless- or so we hope! Turmeric even makes a great skin mask that will get your skin glowing. Get the recipe here.
7: Strengthens Immune System
Curcumin lends a helping hand in modulation of the immune system. Particularly with regard to autoimmune disorders, the immunoregulatory effects of this medicinal herb help to keep harmful chronic inflammation at bay. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial characteristics of curcumin supercharge the body’s natural defenses and enhance immunity. Furthermore, studies show that curcumin improves white blood cell count, strength, and communication pathways, thereby giving the immune system a potent boost.
Curcumin and Turmeric Health Benefits for Chronic Conditions
8: Blood Sugar Control
The rate at which the incidence of diabetes and prediabetes is rising is nothing short of staggering these days. But when it comes to regulating blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity, look no further than curcumin
By simply supplementing with curcumin or adding turmeric to some of your favorite dishes, you can do yourself-- and your blood glucose levels-- an incredible favor. Insulin is the hormone responsible for mediating the transport of glucose from the blood into the cells, where it is used for a wide variety of purposes. In the case of chronic uncontrolled blood sugars, insulin resistance (or a decreased sensitivity to glucose) can occur, which means glucose remains in the bloodstream and further exacerbates the situation.
But when we incorporate turmeric and curcumin into the diet, bioactive curcumin plays a role in stimulating the enzyme AMPK, which then signals glucose uptake from the blood into the cells. In this way, curcumin stabilizes blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Why does this matter? Blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity are essential for diabetes prevention (and in turn protection against heart disease and cholesterol regulation) but also for more general things like appetite control and weight stabilization. So, blood sugar regulation is one of the key curcumin health benefits and absolutely a reason to get on the turmeric train.
9: Heart Health & Blood Health
Statistics demonstrate that cardiovascular disease is now one of the most fatal diseases affecting populations across the globe. If you’re looking to protect yourself against heart disease, or simply just want to keep your blood pressure in check, you may consider turning to curcumin instead of other medications such as ibuprofen or warfarin to keep your blood flow steady and healthy.
Studies suggest that curcumin supplementation can naturally protect against blood clotting and reduce blood pressure by strengthening the endothelial lining of the blood vessels. By enhancing vascular function in this way, curcumin defends the body against common conditions such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, atherosclerosis and hypertension, many of which are rising in incidence in this country. Widely used to combat these conditions and promote blood health by strengthening the vasculature itself, curcumin is now giving more traditional anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapies a run for their money.
Curcumin and Turmeric Side Effects
As a medicinal herbal supplement, curcumin should be taken as directed. Both turmeric and curcumin have been shown to have very few side effects, due in part to the fact that turmeric is a naturally occurring herb. Unless you’re allergic to turmeric, or you are taking certain medications such as anticoagulants or NSAIDs (turmeric can interfere with the actions of these medications), incorporating turmeric into your cooking or curcumin into your daily supplement routine is unlikely to cause any adverse effects. In fact, turmeric and curcumin supplements have actually been shown to reduce the side effects of prescription meds, one of the many curcumin health benefits you should consider.
What to Look For in a Curcumin Supplement
Make Sure Your Curcumin Supplement Contains Black Pepper
Hint hint: turmeric and black pepper work synergistically. This means that, in order to reap the majority of curcumin health benefits, turmeric or curcumin supplements should be paired with black pepper for maximum absorption. Studies show that consuming the compound with black pepper may help to increase its bioavailability (i.e., its actual healing power) as much as threefold!
Consume Curcumin With Fat for Optimal Absorption
Additionally, it is important to take your daily curcumin with a nutritious source of fat. Since the compound is fat soluble, it is best absorbed into the body along with a healthy source of dietary fat (think avocado, nuts or a fatty fish like salmon). If you’re choosing instead to go the curcumin supplement route, go for Further Food Premium Curcumin Turmeric. It is boosted with both black pepper and avocado oil to help you maximize the health benefits of curcumin.
So, to sum it up, curcumin is essentially a magic potion when it comes to heart and blood health, inflammation, detoxification, cancer prevention, diabetes control, anti-aging, and brain health. The vast diversity of health benefits of turmeric and curcumin are nothing short of impressive! The positive effects of supplementation with turmeric/curcumin really run the gamut, with science and clinical evidence pouring in to back up these claims. So go ahead: Do your body and your mind a solid and integrate curcumin into your life. And your soul will likely thank you some day too.
Ways To Get Your Daily Dose of Curcumin
1. Supplement with a quality curcumin supplement. Premium Curcumin Turmeric is made with 500 mg of 95% standardized extract + full spectrum organic root to provide 30x the potency of ordinary turmeric powder. Get Premium Curcumin Turmeric here.
2. Add Superfood Turmeric to your recipes: This superfood adaptogenic blend combines the healing benefits of turmeric with other superfoods and adaptogenic herbs such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and schisandra berry. Use it to make a delicious golden milk or simply add a scoop to your recipes for an anti-oxidant and immune boost!
What is the difference between turmeric and curcumin?
Turmeric, a spice derived from the curcuma plant, is a root that is usually dried and ground to powder to add flavor to recipes. Turmeric is also a great source of curcumin, which is the active curcuminoid compound of the turmeric root. Both turmeric and curcumin have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Curcumin, in particular, has been extensively studied for its proven health benefits.
What are the health benefits of curcumin and turmeric?
Curcumin and turmeric are potent anti-inflammatories with many healing benefits for the entire body. Curcumin and turmeric can be useful in helping to alleviate pain, specifically helping to support joint flexibility and mobility. Additionally, supplementing with curcumin can help improve gut health, improve mood and memory function and strengthen the immune system.
How much turmeric or curcumin should I take?
Both turmeric and curcumin can be used daily. Turmeric powder such as Superfood Turmeric makes a delicious golden milk or can be added to your recipes for a flavorful, anti-inflammatory boost. Curcumin supplements have a lot of health benefits, and particularly helpful to treat occasional aches and pain, or to help boost mood or help strengthen the immune system. For maximum benefit, we recommend 1-2 servings daily of Further Food Premium Curcumin Turmeric.
Are there any side effects to taking curcumin or turmeric?
Turmeric and curcumin can usually be taken without any side effects. However, pregnant or lactating women or anyone undergoing treatment for a medical condition should consult with their medical care practitioner prior to taking any supplement.
What should I look for in a curcumin supplement?
There are a lot of curcumin supplements available, but it is important to choose one that can be absorbed easily in the body. Make sure that your curcumin supplement contains black pepper, which helps boost absorption and bioavailability. Additionally, curcumin is fat soluble, so it is best absorbed along with a fat. Further Food Premium Curcumin Turmeric contains both black pepper and avocado oil to help you maximize the health benefits of curcumin. You can learn more here.
Summary of Benefits
Some of our Favorite Recipes with Turmeric:
Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Lentil Turmeric Soup
Easy 2 Ingredient Turmeric Milk (aka Golden Latte)
2 Ingredient Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea
Anti-Inflammatory Superfood Turmeric Berry Smoothie
1. Gupta, Subash C., et al. “Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials.” The AAPS Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, Oct. 2012, pp. 195–218., doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8.
2. Chainani-Wu, Nita. “Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Curcumin: A Component of Tumeric (Curcuma longa).” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, 2003, pp. 161–168., doi:10.1089/107555303321223035.
3. S, Jurenka J. “Anti-Inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research.” Altern Med Rev., vol. 14, no. 2, Sept. 2009. PubMed.
4. “10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric.
5. “Turmeric | Curcumin | Uses, Safety, Doses, and an anti-Inflammatory agent.” DrWeil.com, 10 July 2017, www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/herbs/turmeric/.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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- Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant herb with lots of healing health benefits for the entire body.
- Turmeric and its active compound curcumin can play a significant role in reducing inflammation, helping to reduce pain, anti-aging and disease prevention.
- Supplementing with turmeric can lead to reduced joint pain associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- The anti-microbial properties of turmeric help in repairing and healing the skin.
- The anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric provide help in soothing ulcers and reducing inflammation in those with inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Supplementing with turmeric can improve brain health by helping in managing depression and in treating degenerative neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Turmeric’s antioxidant power helps to protect against cell damage, making it an important supplement in anti-aging and cancer prevention.
- The powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory power of turmeric provides a strong boost to the immune system, helping to supercharge the body’s natural defenses.
- Supplementing with turmeric can help control diabetes and heart disease by regulating blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Supplementing with turmeric may protect against blood clotting and in reducing blood pressure.
- Combining black pepper with turmeric helps to enhance its healing power.