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Health Benefits of Turmeric: Dosage and Risks

Turmeric powder has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The curcumin in turmeric may treat pain and inflammation in the body.

Many high-quality studies show that turmeric has significant health benefits for both the body and the brain.

How Does It Work?

Turmeric contains a yellow-colored substance called curcumin, often used for coloring foods.

Many studies claim that it has strong medicinal properties with a wide range of health benefits.

As a result, turmeric may be useful in the treatment of inflammatory disorders.

Here are 10 proven health benefits of turmeric powder:

Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory

The active ingredient in turmeric powder is curcumin.

One of turmeric’s most famous claims is that it is effective against inflammation and fights against invaders, which may cure damage inside your body.

According to a previous study, curcumin has effects similar to those of Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin (1).

Tumeric may fight inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and metabolic syndrome.

May prevent cancer

Cancer is an uncontrolled, terrible disease. There are many cancers that still have many things in common. Some of them seem to suffer from turmeric supplements.

Curcumin may prevent cancer, slow its spread, make chemotherapy more effective, and protect healthy cells from radiation therapy damage (2).

However, curcumin research in humans is still in its early stages.

A study shows it may reduce the growth of abnormal cells (3).

Curcumin may perform this through a variety of mechanisms, including blocking the production of abnormal cells at various stages of the cell cycle, interfering with cell signaling pathways, and even causing cancerous cells to die.

Contains bioactive compounds

According to the evidence, dry turmeric contains 69.43% carbohydrates, 6.3% proteins, 5.1% oils, 3.5% minerals, and other elements (4).

Research has extensively investigated the bioactive chemicals in turmeric.

Approximately 235 compounds, mostly phenolics and terpenoids have been identified from various species of turmeric (5).

These include twenty-two diarylheptanoids and diarylpentanoids, eight phenylpropenes and other phenolics, sixty-eight monoterpenes, 109 sesquiterpenes, five diterpenes, three triterpenoids, four sterols, two alkaloids, and fourteen other compounds.

Curcuminoids and monoterpenes are the main bioactive compounds with varying bioactivities.

Turmeric has been linked to calebin-A, vanillic acid, vanillin, quercetin, and other phenolic compounds.

However, the most important of these compounds are curcuminoids (curcumin). Most studies conducted on the effects of turmeric have used curcumin.

Increases antioxidant capacity

One mechanism behind aging and many diseases is oxidative stress. Free radicals react to organic materials such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA.

The antioxidants are very beneficial for protecting your body against free radicals.

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals because of its chemical structure.

In addition, curcumin can boost the capacity of antioxidant enzymes. It directly blocks free radicals and then promotes antioxidant defenses in your body (6).

Lowers risk of heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world (7).

However, heart disease is very complicated, and uncommon things make a vast difference.

Endothelial dysfunction is well known to be a major cause of heart disease (8).

Curcumin has been shown in previous studies to improve endothelial function, or the health of the thin membrane that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels (9).

This membrane is crucial for regulating blood pressure. In one study, it was as effective as exercise, whereas, in another study, it worked as well as the atorvastatin medicine.

These studies look promising, but we need further studies to draw concrete evidence that curcumin supplements are effective in the treatment of coronary heart disease (10, 11, 12).

Prevents Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a major cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world.

The antioxidants in curcumin can cross the brain-blood barrier by boosting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

BDNF is a protein present in the brain and spinal cord that plays an important role in maintaining the health of nerve cells (13).

It can also regulate communication between nerve cells, which is essential for learning and memory.

Inflammation and oxidative stress play the primary roles in developing Alzheimer’s disease (14).

Oxidation and inflammation play a major role in aging, and the effects of curcumin can go much further than just disease prevention.

Although there is no evidence that turmeric or curcumin affects longevity.

Previous research suggests that turmeric and curcumin may be effective anti-aging supplements because of their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, which could be able to improve the health of older people (15).

We need concrete evidence that curcumin is effective against age-related diseases.

Can Help Arthritis Patients

As curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, it may help people with arthritis.

According to the study, curcumin is more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug in treating people with rheumatoid arthritis (16).

Many studies have found curcumin to have positive effects on different symptoms of arthritis (17).

Has anti-depressant effects

In the treatment of depression, curcumin’s results are promising.

A study found that 60 people with depression were divided into three groups (18).

One group took Prozac, another group took 1 gram of curcumin, and the third group took both Prozac and curcumin.

After 6 weeks, the curcumin group performed similarly to the prozac group.

The group that took both curcumin and Prozac had better results.

In addition, curcumin can also boost serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain (19, 20).

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric powder, has been shown to have effects comparable to Advil and aspirin. It has the potential to prevent cancer, slow its spread, improve chemotherapy efficacy. Curcumin has been shown to enhance endothelial function, which is the health of the thin membrane that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels and is necessary for blood pressure regulation. It also helps people with arthritis, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, and fights age-related diseases. It is more efficient than anti-inflammatory medications in treating rheumatoid arthritis.

Dosage and Risks

Most of the studies have used 500–2,000 mg of turmeric per day.

For example, the typical Indian diet contains 2,000-2,500 mg of turmeric per day, which translates to only 60-100 mg of curcumin (21).

Turmeric contain about 3% curcumin, whereas extracts contain 95% curcumin (22).

Turmeric never causes side effects.

Some people may experience stomach discomfort, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.

People who take blood thinners or other medications should see their doctor before using turmeric or curcumin supplements.

People with allergies should also speak to their doctor before using turmeric (23).

How To Make Turmeric Tea?

  1. Boil 3 cups of water.
  2. Add and stir 2 teaspoons of turmeric.
  3. Add a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the tea into a different container.
  6. Add honey or lemon juice to taste

Your body cannot absorb curcumin properly. The piperine in black pepper can boost its absorption by 2,000% (24, 25, 26).

Add a pinch of black pepper to your turmeric tea to increase its absorption.

If you are using curcumin or turmeric supplements in capsule form, always buy supplements that include piperine, which significantly increases their efficiency.

You can also make golden milk by combining turmeric powder and other spices such as cinnamon and ginger with cow or plant milk.

Naeem Durrani BSc
I am a retired pharmacist, nutritionist, and food system expert. My interests include medical research and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to transform their lives.

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