Many high-quality studies show that turmeric has major benefits for your body and brain. Many of these benefits come from its main active ingredient, curcumin.
The spice known as turmeric could be one of the most effective nutritional supplements in existence.
Read on to learn what the science says about turmeric and curcumin as well as their benefits.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and medicinal herb.
These compounds are called curcuminoids. The most important one is curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric.
Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric and curcumin.
Most studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram (g) per day, which means it would be hard to reach these levels just by using turmeric as a spice. That’s why some people choose to use supplements.
In addition, curcumin is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream. In order to experience the full effects of curcumin, its
It helps to consume it with black pepper, which contains piperine. Piperine is a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by
In fact, the best curcumin supplements contain piperine, and this makes them substantially more effective.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, which means it breaks down and dissolves in fat or oil. That’s why it may be a good idea to take curcumin supplements with a meal that’s high in fat.
Curcumin is a bioactive substance that can help fight inflammation, though
Still, it means it has the potential to fight the
That’s why anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is potentially important in preventing and helping treat these conditions.
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.
It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can
Even in adulthood, brain neurons are capable of forming new connections, and in certain areas of the brain, they can multiply and increase in number.
One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a role in memory and learning, and it can be found in areas of the brain responsible for eating, drinking, and body weight.
Many common brain disorders have been linked to
Both animal and
It may also help improve memory and attention, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels. However, more studies are needed to confirm this.
Specifically, it helps improve the function of the
Endothelial dysfunction is a
Several other studies also suggest that curcumin can lead to improvements in heart health. In addition, curcumin
Many different forms of cancer appear to be
In fact, curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in
Studies have shown that it can:
- contribute to the death of cancerous cells
- reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors)
- reduce metastasis (spread of cancer)
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to up to
It’s known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has been found to have
That said, whether curcumin can slow or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people is currently unknown and needs to be studied.
There are several different types of arthritis, most of which involve inflammation in the joints.
In another study on rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin appeared to have helped reduce disease-related inflammation.
That said, more study is needed to understand if curcumin can actually replace such drugs as a treatment for arthritis inflammation pain.
Curcumin has shown some promise in treating mood disorders. Its positive effects on the brain include boosting the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, reducing inflammation, and encouraging brain plasticity. This suggests the herb
Depression is also linked to reduced levels of BDNF and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin can help
If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, it may have benefits for longevity as well.
This suggests that curcumin may have potential as an anti-aging supplement.
Given that oxidation and inflammation are
Is it good to take turmeric every day?
Given turmeric’s various beneficial properties to health, it’s not a bad idea to take it daily. If you stick to
Learn more about turmeric dosage.
Who shouldn’t take turmeric?
People who are pregnant or nursing, people who have gallbladder or kidney problems, those with bleeding disorders, diabetes, or iron deficiency should limit turmeric. If you have any of these conditions, ask your doctor before taking turmeric. Also, ask your doctor if turmeric would interact with any medications you’re taking.
Can turmeric burn belly fat?
Learn more: Does turmeric help you lose weight?
Turmeric — and especially its most active compound, curcumin — has many scientifically proven health benefits, such as the potential to improve heart health and prevent Alzheimer’s and cancer.
It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.
While these benefits are possible, they are limited at this time because of curcumin’s scarce bioavailability and more research is needed.