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Health Benefits of Turmeric: Dosage and Risks

Turmeric powder has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It 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 may be a more effective anti-inflammatory treatment than standard inflammation-fighting drugs such as Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin.

This involves inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and many other diseases (1).

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.

However, the active substance in turmeric powder is curcumin, which is a beneficial herb to prevent cancer.

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

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 signalling pathways, and even causing cancerous cells to die (2).

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.

Research has extensively investigated the bioactive chemicals in turmeric.

Approximately 235 compounds, mostly phenolics and terpenoids, have been identified from various species of turmeric, including 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 (mainly curcumin) and essential oils (mainly 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 usually react to important organic materials, such as fatty acids, proteins, or DNA.

Therefore, 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 (3).

Lowers risk of heart disease

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

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 a concrete evidence that curcumin supplement is effective in the treatment of coronary heart disease (4, 5, 6).

Prevents Alzheimer’s disease

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

The excellent news is that the antioxidant compounds in curcumin can cross the brain-blood barrier by boosting levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein present in the brain and spinal cord that plays an important role in maintaining the health of nerve cells (neurons) as well as regulating communication between nerve cells, which is essential for learning and memory.

Inflammation and oxidative stress play the primary roles in developing Alzheimer’s disease (7, 8).

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 directly influences the lifespan.

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.

To draw conclusion, we need concrete evidence that curcumin is effective in age-related diseases.

Curcumin can boost BDNF

Neurons can build new links, but they can also multiply and grow in number in certain areas of the brain. However, BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a kind of growth hormone that functions in your brain.

Many common brain disorders, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease, have been associated with a decrease in the BDNF hormone.

Curcumin can increase brain BDNF levels, delay or even reverse several brain diseases, and also reduce age-related brain problems.

It can improve memory and make you more intelligent, which looks logical because of its BDNF effects (9, 10).

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.

Many studies have found curcumin to have positive effects on different symptoms of arthritis (11, 12, 13).

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

The group took Curcumin showed similar results as the group took Prozac after 6 weeks. The group that took both curcumin and Prozac had better results.

According to this small study, curcumin can boost BDNF levels and may reverse certain modifications that lead to depression.

In addition, curcumin can also boost serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain (14, 15).

Dosage and Risks

You should take either 3 grams of turmeric powder or 1 gram of curcumin. 3 grams of pure turmeric contain 1 gram of curcumin.

Studies have shown that curcumin is safe even at higher doses of 12 grams a day. However, most studies have used 1 gram of curcumin a day, or you can split it into 2 doses of 500 mg.

Turmeric never causes side effects. Mild side effects such as stomach discomfort, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea may occur in some users.

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 (16).

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%.

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

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