10 Verified Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

As we are living in an age of health consciousness where people are highly focused on what they eat, how much they exercise, and how can they further improve their lifestyle to achieve longevity. In this regard, the food supplement industry is rising to prominence as the publication of the latest research constantly adds up to people’s knowledge about the benefits of certain moieties. One of these supplements is the turmeric supplement sold under the name of curcumin. Let us take a look at what curcumin is and how it benefits us.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin is an active ingredient of turmeric which is often termed ‘the golden spice’. Although the supplement industries focus on separating the curcumin from the rest of the chemical components, the following health benefits can be achieved by using both the curcumin and turmeric itself.

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Turmeric powder rich in curcumin

Health benefits of curcumin

The curcumin in turmeric provides the following health benefits:

1. Curcumin is a Potent Anti-inflammatory Agent

Inflammation or swelling is an important factor in indicating the presence of invading pathogens in the body. This indication is responded to by the migration of the body’s defense system based on white blood cells towards the target site where they fight with the pathogenic organisms to get rid of them. This way, inflammation is actually a useful response of the body against pathogenic microbes. However, if this swelling persists for long, the WBCs can attack the body’s own cells and may lead to the development of certain health conditions such as:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Carcinomas

Curcumin, whether taken as a supplement or as a whole in the form of turmeric, helps reduce this chronic swelling thus decreasing the progression of swelling. In Asian regions, it has been an ancient practice to use turmeric mixed with warm milk to reduce inflammation. Similarly, the Chinese have been aware of the health benefits of turmeric for centuries. Thus, these curcumin supplements, though seem new, are old and well-tested in their capabilities to alleviate swelling.

2. Curcumin-The Anti-aging Spice

Aging as well as the development of certain diseases has been linked with the oxidative stress of the human body. Our cellular system has to deal with free radicals i.e. the charged moieties having unpaired electrons which enable them to react vigorously with DNA, proteins, fats, or other structural and functional components of the body. Curcumin, being an anti-oxidant, has the capacity to react with these free radicals and subsequently neutralize them. This causes a protective effect on the body hence aging is delayed.

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Curcumin supplements

3. Curcumin-The Brain Food

The human brain and the enhancement of its potential have interested scientists for years. A key component of the human genome responsible for building new neurons as well as establishing novel neuronal connections is the gene called ‘brain-derived neurotrophic factor’ or simply ‘BDNF’. This BDNF makes a protein that shields the neurons from destruction as well as enables the brain to generate more mass. Curcumin, if used regularly, is found to act as an enhancer of the functionality of BDNF i.e. higher curcumin consumption leads to improved activity of BDNF which consequently results in a healthier brain. This way, the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease are also diminished.

4. Curcumin and Arthritis

Owing to the anti-inflammatory properties that curcumin possesses, it is believed to be useful in arthritis patients for relieving joint pain. Studies have confirmed a sharp decrease in redness, inflammation, pain, stiffness, as well as warmth in the joints affected by arthritis once the curcumin was added to the patient’s diet.

5. Curcumin and Cardiac Health

It has been evidenced that curcumin dominates other regularly used spices by providing beneficial effects on the heart. Although the exact mechanism of this is still unknown, it is believed that curcumin may interact with the endothelial lining of the blood vessels to reduce the plague. Studies have shown that a daily dose of 4 grams of curcumin given to cardiac patients can actually reduce the risk of heart attack by 65%.

6. Curcumin and Management of Depressive Symptoms

Ample evidence is present to confirm the effectiveness of curcumin, used individually or along with the other anti-depressants, in the management of clinical depression. Several studies have been conducted which have proven this claim by assigning curcumin to one group and anti-depressive agents to the other. After a definite period, both groups have been shown to manifest similar improvements in mood thus confirming the efficacy of curcumin.

7. Curcumin and Kidney Health

Acute renal injuries have been found to have been treated with the daily use of curcumin. This may be attributed to the efficacy of curcumin in alleviating inflammation as well as oxidative activity.

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Some biological activities of curcumin

8. Curcumin and Ophthalmic Health

Although this hypothesis is not backed by the findings of a significant number of researchers, it is still believed that the regular use of curcumin can prevent degenerative eye disorders. Although further studies are needed to confirm the claim.

9. Curcumin and Seasonal Allergies

Symptoms of seasonal allergies such as itching, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion can also be relieved by the use of curcumin or turmeric in any form.

10. Curcumin and the Prevention of Cancer

Undoubtedly, one of the leading causes of death in the world today is cancer. Billions of dollars are being put into research projects aimed at finding a cure for different types of carcinomas. However, just like some lifestyle changes which are proven to reduce the incidence of cancer, curcumin has also been found to be effective against the development as well as the proliferation of cancerous mass. Studies have also provided evidence of reduced metastasis (i.e. spreading of cancer) with the regular use of curcumin. This promising finding has paved the way for researchers to further evaluate the potential benefits of curcumin in the elimination of cancer.

Conclusion

Curcumin and turmeric both are effective components of human health that provide multiple health benefits. From smaller health issues such as seasonal allergies to challenging health afflictions including cancer, curcumin has shown promising efficacy in every domain. Although further research is required to confirm many of its claimed uses, it is for sure that the title of ‘the golden spice’ is well-suited for turmeric, particularly curcumin, not only in color but also in essence.

uzma e1714761913269

PhD Scholar (Pharmaceutics), MPhil (Pharmaceutics), Pharm D, B. Sc.

Uzma Zafar is a dedicated and highly motivated pharmaceutical professional currently pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutics at the Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab. With a comprehensive academic and research background, Uzma has consistently excelled in her studies, securing first division throughout her educational journey.

Uzma’s passion for the pharmaceutical field is evident from her active engagement during her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) program, where she not only mastered industrial techniques and clinical case studies but also delved into marketing strategies and management skills.

Throughout her career, Uzma has actively contributed to the pharmaceutical sciences, with specific research on suspension formulation and Hepatitis C risk factors and side effects. Additionally, Uzma has lent her expertise to review and fact-check articles for the Health Supply 770 blog, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

As she continues her PhD, expected to complete in 2025, Uzma is eager to contribute further to the field by combining her deep knowledge of pharmaceutics with real-world applications to meet global professional standards and challenges.