Curcumin is the active ingredient found in the spice Turmeric. This compound has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the body, useful in reducing symptoms of pain and discomfort associated with a variety of adverse health disorders. Here are our top benefits of consuming a curcumin supplement in your diet.
Curcumin as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is a natural response to bacterial and viral infection; it’s a necessary part of metabolism if you want to recover from the effects of disease or an injury. However, long-term inflammation harms your health and can increase symptoms of other conditions, such as heart disease, IBS, Alzheimer’s, and bone diseases like arthritis.
The Western diet contains plenty of inflammatory foods that are high in refined carbohydrates. When we eat sugar and flour, it causes an inflammatory response in the gut. As a result, the intestinal wall swells, allowing inflammatory particles to enter the blood. These particles circulate throughout the body, causing an exacerbation in the effects of inflammatory disease.
People who are prone to inflammation should avoid eating foods rich in refined carbs and swap them out for healthy sources of fat and protein instead. However, it’s possible to control the effects of digestive inflammation that lead to the development of systemic inflammti0on.
The compound curcumin, found in turmeric, has natural inflammation-fighting properties. Curcumin works at a cellular level to block biochemicals that switch on the genes that cause the onset of inflammation.
Consuming curcumin supplements helps to keep your digestive system healthy and free from the effects of gastrointestinal inflammation.
Curcumin Helps to Promote Joint Health
People who are suffering from the autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, experience painful inflammation of the joints.
Medical science is still unclear as to the exact cause of RA, but medical professionals all agree that white blood cells and antibodies attack the joints in patients, causing the onset of inflammation. An attack of RA is an incredibly painful situation for the patient, and they may experience a disabling pain that feels like someone’s stabbing them with a hot poker in the affected area.
A study of patients living with RA shows that consuming 500-mg of curcumin each day helps to reduce the frequency and intensity of attacks. In most cases, curcumin was more effective than prescription drugs used to treat the condition.
The patients used a daily dose to keep levels of curcumin up in their bloodstream. However, using curcumin as the attack occurs is not very effective at stopping an attack, as the supplement needs time to digest and enter the bloodstream. Therefore, if you are suffering from RA or degenerative bone diseases, such as osteoporosis or arthritis, consuming curcumin supplements every day helps to manage your symptoms of pain.
Curcumin for Heart Health
Studies show that the only factor involved in the development of heart disease is a rise in LDL cholesterol levels. Lifestyle activities like eating unhealthy food, consuming to much sugar, as well as smoking and drinking, cause a substantial increase in blood serum LDL levels. LDL causes plaques to form on the artery walls, leading to a condition known as “coronary artery disease, (CAD).
High blood sugar levels cause a condition known as oxidative stress, which has an inflammatory effect on the arteries. As a result, it may further increase the creation of plaques that clog your arteries. Studies show that consuming a curcumin supplement every day helps to reduce oxidative stress, resulting in lower levels of inflammation in the arteries, and less plaque attaching to the artery walls.
Studies show that consuming curcumin has a similar effect to the cholesterol medication “Lipitor,” which doctors use to treat high blood serum cholesterol levels. The same study also shows that the daily use of a curcumin supplement dropped LDL production by nearly 12-percent while increasing the rate of HDL cholesterol, which improves the health of your cardiovascular system.
Curcumin Fights Stress
Adaptogens are natural compounds found in herbs and plants. These adaptogens help to relieve symptoms of stress by regulating the productions of hormones ion the adrenal glands. When we feel stressed, our brain signals the hypothalamus to stimulate the release of adrenaline-like hormones and cortisol in the adrenals.
Cortisol is a particularly nasty hormone to have to deal with when the adrenals release it in large quantities. Cortisol initiates the “fight-or-flight” response, increasing your situational awareness while accelerating your heart rate.
People that experience high levels of stress find that they feel like they are having a cardiovascular event. These patients may find that they lie awake at night in bed, with their heart racing, even though they are in a relaxed position.
The adaptogenic properties of curcumin help to regulate the body’s release of cortisol, to lower high heart rate while relieving sensations of anxiety.
Curcumin Helps to Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
More than 30-million Americans live with the blood sugar disorder, diabetes. A further 60-million Americans are prediabetic, which is the precursor condition for diabetes. Diabetic patients experience a loss in the correct function of the pancreas, the organ responsible for releasing the hormone, insulin.
Insulin helps to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels, and people with diabetes require the use of exogenous insulin to maintain stable blood sugar. Studies show that people who were supplementing daily with 300 to 500-mg of curcumin had significantly lower fasting blood sugar levels than those patients using a placebo.
The study also shows that those prediabetic patients using curcumin supplements did not experience a progression of their condition to diabetes. However, subjects using a placebo turned diabetic after 16-weeks.
The Antioxidant Effect of Curcumin
Free radicals are harmful particles than cause cell oxidation leading to cell death. An example of this process is people that receive a sunburn on their face.
Overexposure to the suns UV ray’s results in a burn that causes the development of free radicals. These free radicals cause and the onset of oxidative stress in the skin. As a result, these individuals start to develop premature signs of aging, such as lines and wrinkles in their face.
Curcumin contains antioxidant properties that remove free radicals from skin cells and the bloodstream, reducing the presence of oxidative stress.
Curcumin for Better Brain Health
Consuming a curcumin supplement every day helps to boost brain health by increasing the presence of a protein known as BDNF. This protein helps to increase neuron production and activity, growing new neural pathways in the brain. As a result, the brain experiences an increase in the output of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which produce feelings of joy and help to regulate sleep.
Patients who are dealing with the effects of dementia, experience a steady degradation in neurotransmitter activity as neural pathways start to shut down. It’s impossible to reverse the process of dementia in the brain. However, taking curcumin supplements helps to slow the process, allowing seniors to maintain their mental health for longer.
The Final Word – Use a Curcumin Supplement with Bioperine
Unfortunately, curcumin has low bioavailability in the gut. As a result, your body only absorbs a fraction of the nutrient and wastes the rest.
However, adding Bioperine to the curcumin increases bioavailability by up to 2,000-percent, allowing your digestive system to absorb the curcumin efficiently.
Bioperine is a standardized version of piperine extract taken from black pepper. Always check the label of your curcumin supplement for Bioperine.
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