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The Research: Benefits of Turmeric

The Golden Spice: Turmeric

Beyond its use in cooking, turmeric is known—even clinically—for its natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Curcumin, the herb’s main bioactive compound, gives turmeric its yellow color and various health advantages. For over 5,000 years in South Asia, this golden herb has been used to improve joint health, aid digestion, and boost vitality.

Due to Curcumin’s potent anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric has mountains of scientific studies confirming its effectiveness and safety—if you can navigate one little problem.

The Absorption Challenge

Effective: 

Turmeric’s Anti-Inflammatory benefits have shown to be effective in treating chronic inflammation associated with various health issues, including arthritis, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Curcumin works by inhibiting the activity of inflammatory enzymes and molecules, thereby reducing inflammation in the body.

Safe:

Overall, Turmeric was found to be safe and effective; however, it is not recommended while breastfeeding.

The Absorption Challenge

Not all that glitters is gold, even something as powerful as this yellow herb’s compounds.

While turmeric holds great potential as an anti-inflammatory agent, its absorption poses a notable challenge. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has low bioavailability, meaning that the body struggles to absorb it effectively when taken alone. As a result, curcumin is quickly metabolized and eliminated from the body before it can fully exert its beneficial effects.

To overcome this hurdle and ensure proper curcumin absorption, simple yet effective strategies have been identified through research.

Enhancing Absorption with Black Pepper:

Combining turmeric with black pepper proves to be beneficial when using it as a spice. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which has been shown to enhance curcumin’s bioavailability. Piperine slows turmeric’s rapid metabolism in the liver, extending the presence of curcumin in the system and enhancing its potential impact.

Maximizing Supplement Absorption with Food:

Turmeric supplement absorption is optimized by supplementing with food, preferably containing healthy fats. Curcumin is fat-soluble, meaning it dissolves in fats, making it more easily absorbed when consumed with foods rich in healthy fats. This approach ensures that the body can efficiently utilize the curcumin present in the supplement.

Incorporating turmeric into your diet can be super easy and delicious. Not only can you find supplements with absorption enhancers, but you can also easily include the delicious spice in various recipes, like delicious Golden Turmeric Milk.

Scientific Research — 1

Curcumin and its Multi-target Function Against Pain and Inflammation: An Update of Pre-clinical Data.

Source

Current Drug Targets 2021; Vol. 22 (6), pp. 656-671.

Background

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that has complex and varying causative etiology. Modern drug discovery focuses on identifying potential molecules that target multiple pathways with a safer profile compared to those with a single target. The current treatment of pain and inflammation with the available therapeutics has a number of major side effects. Pain is one of the major clinical problems that need functional therapeutics which act on multiple targets and with low toxicity. Curcumin, a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound from Curcuma longa, has been used for years in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and in many other systems of traditional medicine. Pre-clinical data published thus far demonstrated that curcumin possesses multi-target biological functions, suggesting its potential use to cure different diseases.

Conclusion

A literature study was conducted using different known databases, including Pubmed, SciFinder, Google Scholar, and Science Direct. Available pre-clinical data suggest the ameliorating effect of curcumin in pain and inflammation is rendered through the modulation of pain pathways, including inhibition of a number of pro-inflammatory mediators, inhibition of oxidative stress and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), down-regulation of Ca2+/calmodulin-depend protein kinase II (CaMKIIα) and calcium channels like transient receptor potential (TRP), modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor-2 (mGlu2), modulation of monoamine system, inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway, remodeling of extracellular matrix proteins, inhibition of apoptosis, inhibition of JNK/MAPK and ERK/CREB signaling pathway, and activation of the opioid system. Taken all together, it is evident that curcumin is one of the promising, safe, and natural polyphenolic molecules that target multiple molecular pathways in pain and can be beneficial in the treatment and management of pain and inflammation.

Scientific Research — 2

Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa).

Source

Journal of Alternative Complement Medicine 2003 Feb; Vol. 9 (1), pp. 161-8.

Background

Tumeric is a spice that comes from the root Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family, Zingaberaceae. In Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), tumeric has been used for its medicinal properties for various indications and through different routes of administration, including topically, orally, and by inhalation. Curcuminoids are components of tumeric, which include mainly curcumin (diferuloyl methane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcmin.

Primary Objective

The goal of this systematic review of the literature was to summarize the literature on the safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin.

Conclusion

 Curcumin has been demonstrated to be safe in six human trials and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. It may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.

Scientific Research — 3

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin/turmeric supplementation in adults: A GRADE-assessed systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Source

Cytokine, Volume 164, 2023.

Background

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that has complex and varying causative etiology. Modern drug discovery focuses on identifying potential molecules that target multiple pathways with a safer profile compared to those with a single target. The current treatment of pain and inflammation with the available therapeutics has a number of major side effects. Pain is one of the major clinical problems that need functional therapeutics which act on multiple targets and with low toxicity. Curcumin, a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound from Curcuma longa, has been used for years in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and in many other systems of traditional medicine. Pre-clinical data published thus far demonstrated that curcumin possesses multi-target biological functions, suggesting its potential use to cure different diseases.

Conclusion

A literature study was conducted using different known databases, including Pubmed, SciFinder, Google Scholar, and Science Direct. Available pre-clinical data suggest the ameliorating effect of curcumin in pain and inflammation is rendered through the modulation of pain pathways, including inhibition of a number of pro-inflammatory mediators, inhibition of oxidative stress and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), down-regulation of Ca2+/calmodulin-depend protein kinase II (CaMKIIα) and calcium channels like transient receptor potential (TRP), modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor-2 (mGlu2), modulation of monoamine system, inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway, remodeling of extracellular matrix proteins, inhibition of apoptosis, inhibition of JNK/MAPK and ERK/CREB signaling pathway, and activation of the opioid system. Taken all together, it is evident that curcumin is one of the promising, safe, and natural polyphenolic molecules that target multiple molecular pathways in pain and can be beneficial in the treatment and management of pain and inflammation.

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