I believe a majority of people are not only familiar with turmeric, but use it in one way or another. Turmeric may just be the most versatile spice that ever was. Personally, I use it as a spice and as a facial mask. Studies have shown that turmeric has a wide range of benefits to the brain and to the body.
Curcumin is the main component in turmeric. It is a strong anti-oxidant, and it is also known for having anti-inflammatory properties. In this article, I am going to explain how curcumin works in the body. It just might give you a few more reasons to incorporate turmeric into your meals.
How Curcumin Works in the Body
Like I had mentioned earlier, curcumin is known for precisely this, and has been used for centuries too in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. While short-term inflammation in the body is important in repairing damage and fighting foreign bodies, chronic inflammation is almost always a problem. Often reflective of serious diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease, just to name a few.
Curcumin in the body serves to fight inflammation at a molecular level, with the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs designed to fight inflammation. Curcumin the better choice really, as it has no side effects those pharmaceutical drugs might have.
Oxidation is the process where cells use up the oxygen in the air we breathe and release free radicals. These free radicals are highly unstable due to unpaired electrons and will take the next electron to become stable. While oxidation is necessary, this is the degenerative side that may cause an undesirable domino effect.
Enter antioxidants like curcumin. Its chemical structure helps neutralize free radicals. And there is more. It also stimulates the body’s production of antioxidants.
Improves endothelial function
The endothelium is the lining of blood vessels. Dysfunction of the endothelium often leads to heart failure or heart disease due to factors like blood clots and an inability to regulate blood pressure.
Curcumin improves endothelial function, lowering your risk of heart disease and may even reverse would-be heart disease.
Good for the brain
There is a growth hormone functioning in the brain, known as BDNF – Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Common mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and depression are linked to the decrease of BDNF.
Curcumin increases levels of BDNF in the brain. This serves to delay and/or reverse cognitive decline usually brought about by age. It also promotes the growth of new cells in areas of the brain.
Cancer is a horrible disease. However, there are studies that show curcumin as an effective component in the treatment of cancer. That means it can be used in the prevention and possible treatment of cancer. It has been proven to reduce or inhibit the growth of malignant cells in different cancer forms.
From the above article, it is clear that curcumin is the gift that keeps on giving. It is important to note that absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream is poor, but piperine, a component found in black pepper, increases absorption significantly. It is also fat soluble, so I recommend that it is ingested with a fatty meal.