I recently got a little ‘caught up’ in an article I was reading on a train journey to London that covered the rise of turmeric in certain health circles. This particular article was concentrating on the spice being added to certain skin care serums (which was a new one on me!).
At the root of the multitude of turmeric benefits is curcumin – a chemical that contains high amounts of special anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
So what are the health benefits of curcumin?
How does it manage to turn turmeric into a ‘miracle spice’?
Let’s take a closer look…
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More About Curcumin…
Curcumin is a chemical or curcuminoid that is found inside a selection of plants, it has a vibrant yellowish colour.
It’s primarily found in turmeric, which is a strong medicinal spice that is from the same family as ginger. More often than not, you find turmeric in powder format which is used to give certain foods a good boost in their flavour (it’s a popular spice to add to curry dishes).
BIO CURCUMIN BENEFITS
It Can Tackle Inflammation
Curcumin is known to have the ability of blocking the activity of several enzymes in the body that are well known for causing inflammation situations.
A recent study went as far as saying that aspirin and ibuprofen were nowhere near as effective as curcumin when it came to dulling down inflammation. Therefore, curcumin can be great for improving the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.
Great For Skin Health
We covered the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin above, and it’s these positive properties that makes it a great ingredient for skin creams!
Many tests have concluded that curcumin can neutralize free radicals, which in turn prevent cell damage in the skin and improve the healing time of cuts.
Certain medical professionals now believe that curcumin can relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, scabies and radiation-induced dermatitis.
It Regulates Blood Sugar
High blood sugar is serious stuff, and if it’s not handled in the right way, it can swiftly bring on diabetes symptoms which range from fatigue to unintentional weight loss. If this condition is allowed to persist, it can eventually lead to nerve damage and even loss of vision.
A recent study by the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism came to the conclusion that curcumin can reduce the symptoms of high blood pressure.
Apparently it can cut down the body’s glucose production, which in turn decreases inflammation, and increases the secretion of insulin from the pancreas.
Could it Fight Cancer?
Those of you that are regulars to this site, will already know that what you eat can have a powerful effect on cancer growth within the body.
Did you know that Curcumin is able to have an effect on enzymes which are directly linked to cancer development?
It Tackles The Formation of Blood Clots
Stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are all linked to the formation of blood clots and platelet aggregation.
Research suggests that curcumin modifies eicosanoid biosynthesis – this is process that has been directly linked to numerous different forms of inflammation. It can also inhibit platelet aggregation, which again, leads to blood clot formation.
A Cholesterol Aid
It’s well known that one of the main risk factors for heart disease is higher levels of cholesterol.
The University of Indonesia held a study back in 2008 that came to the conclusion that curcumin reduced levels of both total and bad LDL cholesterol.
WARNING – Side Effects
Okay, we’ve covered the health benefits of curcumin, but it’s not all good news…
Below is a list of possible side effects that are linked to regular taking of curcumin:
- Low blood sugar
- Increased risk of bleeding
- Reduced fertility
- Increased menstrual flow
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered above, please leave them in the comment section below.