Turmeric is a plant-based spice used in Asian foods most frequently. It contains a yellow-colored substance called curcumin, often used for the coloration of foods. In addition, many studies claim that it has many health benefits. Here are the 10 proven health benefits of turmeric powder.
1. Turmeric Contains Curcumin
The curcumin in turmeric helps fight against invaders from outside and also can cure damage inside your body. This involves heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and many other diseases. Curcumin is highly anti-inflammatory. It is effective like any other anti-inflammatory drug without side effects (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
Curcumin may eliminate many molecules that play inflammatory tasks in your body.
2. Turmeric Can Help 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 curcumin supplements. However, curcumin was examined as a beneficial herb in the treatment of cancer and they have found it to reduce the growth of abnormal cells (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12).
Turmeric causes several molecular changes that may contribute to cancer prevention and maybe even treatment.
3. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds
Science has recently backed up that turmeric supplement contains medicinal compounds. However, the most important of these compounds are curcuminoids (curcumin). It has strong anti-inflammatory effects and is highly antioxidant (13, 14).
Most studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that mostly contain curcumin alone with doses of 1 gram per day. Unfortunately, in the bloodstream, curcumin is not fully absorbed. The piperine in black pepper enhances curcumin absorption in the bloodstream by 2,000% (15).
Therefore, it is important to consume black pepper with curcumin to improve its absorption. The best curcumin supplements include piperine, which significantly increases its efficiency.
Most studies have used turmeric extracts that include enormous quantities of curcumin.
4. Turmeric Increases the 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 in protecting your body against free radicals.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals by 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 (16, 17, 18, 19, 20).
The antioxidant effect of Curcumin is strong. It can remove free radicals and stimulates the antioxidant enzymes of the body.
5. Curcumin May Lower 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. Curcumin may help with many necessary effects (21, 22).
Endothelial dysfunction is well known to be a major cause of heart disease. Several studies show that curcumin can improve endothelial function. In one study, it is as effective as exercise, whereas, in another study, it works as well as the Atorvastatin medicine (23, 24, 25).
Curcumin improves endothelium function, and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent.
6. Curcumin May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a major cause of dementia and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. However, it is very important to prevent it from happening first. The excellent news is that curcumin can cross the brain barrier (26).
Curcumin can cross the brain barrier, resulting in various improvements in Alzheimer’s pathologic processes.
7. Curcumin May Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases
Curcumin can help longevity, because of its several positive health implications.
8. Curcumin Boosts BDNF
Neurons can build new links, but they can also multiply and grow in numbers in certain areas of the brain. The BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a kind of growth hormone functioning in your brain (31).
Many common brain disorders, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease, have been associated with a decrease in the BDNF hormone. Curcumin can increase in brain BDNF levels. However, it can help delay or even reverse a number of brain diseases and also decreases in old age-related brain problems (32, 33, 34, 35, 36).
It can also improve memory and make you more intelligent, which looks logical because of its BDNF effects. To confirm this, a controlled study in humans is necessary (37).
Curcumin increases brain hormone levels of BDNF, increasing the development of new neurons and combating different degenerative processes in the brain.
9. Curcumin 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 people with rheumatoid arthritis. Many studies have found curcumin positive effects on different symptoms of arthritis (38, 39, 40).
Arthritis is a common joint inflammatory disorder. Many studies have shown that curcumin can be more effective than anti-inflammatory medicines.
10. Curcumin Has Anti-Depressant Effects
In the treatment of depression, curcumin results are promising. A study shows that 60 people with depression in three groups. One group took Prozac, another group took 1 gram curcumin, and the third took both Prozac and curcumin (41).
The group took Curcumin showed similar results as the group took Prozac after 6 weeks. Consequently, the group took both curcumin and Prozac had better results (42).
According to this small study, curcumin boosts BDNF levels and may reverse certain modifications that lead to depression. In addition, curcumin can also boost serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain (43, 44).
A study conducted in 60 depressed people showed that curcumin was as effective as a medicine called Prozac.
The Bottom Line
The most active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Therefore, it has several health benefits. In addition, it is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and can also help treat depression and arthritis symptoms. Always consume curcumin with piperine, which is a substance that increases the absorption of curcumin. Without piperine, curcumin passes through your digestive tract.
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