Curcumin: Benefits and Side effects of the active Turmeric component
Indian turmeric is indicated as the best spice in the world market because of its high curcumin active component. Curcuminoids, phenolic yellowish pigments, are the major bioactive constituents of the Curcuma species including Curcuma longa (Turmeric). The yellow root (Indian saffron) has been in use from ancient time as a spice, food preservative, coloring agent, cosmetic and in the traditional medicine.
Why is Turmeric “Spice of Life” so healthy?
The golden plant grows up to a meter high and is known as the “spice of life.” The special feature of the plant, however, is not the colorful flower, but the so-called rhizomes. These are the bulbous of the plant, which we can buy as curcuma root.
But turmeric is not only used as a spice and colorant – the hype comes about through the health-promoting effect of the super root. For some years now, it has had the image of a “panacea” – in Ayurveda and natural medicine, the healthy effects of curcumin have been known for millennia.
Because of its natural polyphenolic structure curcumin is being ivestigated from many Researchers in term of its biological activities such as:
The current trends in curcumin research is concentrated on the development of effective delivery systems that will increase its stability, hydrophilicity, bioavailability as well as targeted delivery with enhanced therapeutic effects.
As a first aid measure at the beginning of each inflammation, we recommend one teaspoon of turmeric with a little warm water for two days. For sore throat, gargling with turmeric water is recommended.
Curcumin Medical Uses and its proven Helath benefits
Turmeric has been used as a yellow dye, flavoring agent, and a traditional remedy in Asian folk medicines for the last 2000 years.
In fact, Herbal experts consider Turmeric as a safe natural yellow pigments used for food coloring and traditional drugs with a variety of biological functions such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.
They are recognized as being responsible for most of their therapeutic effects and have been shown to exhibit a wide range of biological activities.
No significant adverse effects were found in volunteers who received a single oral administration of CUR with doses up to 12g/d in clinical studies, and it has been demonstrated that curcuminoids are safe compounds.
Due to their excellent activities and low toxicity, curcuminoids have been the center point of much research over the past three decades. Studies have reveald that curcuminoids are nontoxic to humans even at a dose of 8000 mg/d taken continuously (Cheng, 2001).
The medicinal uses of turmeric and curcumin are indeed diverse, ranging from cosmetic face cream to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric is also qualified as the queen of natural Cox-2 inhibitors (Duke, 2003).
Recently, many Researchers are focusing on its antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, in addition to its use in cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders.
Curcumin treats Inflammation
To demonstrating safety on its use, Curcumin showed anti-inflammatory activity. It is able to inhibit the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of TNF-α, IL-1β, and the activation of NF-κ-B in human monocytic derived cells.
The in vitro results suggested that the nanoemulsion is a potential drug delivery system for inflammatory pain management. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of curcumin involves the Nrf2-keap1 pathway and alleviation of
In this context, Zhang et al. (1999) and Goel, Boland, and Chauhan (2001) showed that curcumin is able to inhibit the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme expression resulting in prostaglandin synthesis suppression. Therefore, athletes feel better and less broken after intensive training, when they regularly take Turmeric as a spice.
Additionally, others studies demonstrated that curcumin-loaded elastic vesicles is more effective than free curcumin in a model of acute topic inflammation and cotton pellet-induced chronic inflammation.
This improved therapeutic efficacy, according to the authors, is due to the improvement in flux across murine skin.
Turmeric for stroke and heart attack
The antioxidant turmeric also prevents the oxidation of cholesterol. And cholesterol only becomes really dangerous when it is oxidized, because high levels of homocysteine can damage the walls of the vessel and are considered to be important risk factors for atherosclerotic deposits and heart disease.
Turmeric also contains vitamin B6. Together with vitamin B12 and folic acid , this vitamin ensures that the homocysteine level does not rise too high. It could prevent platelet build-up along the walls of an injured blood vessel.
Platelets collecting at the site of a damaged blood vessel cause blood clots to form and blockage of the artery as well. The efficacy of turmeric in lowering blood plasma lipid was evaluated in rabbits.
The antioxidant property of an ethanolic extract of the rhizomes of C. longa on the lipid peroxidation of liver mitochondria and microsome membranes in atherosclerotic rabbits was evaluated.
It was concluded that the active compounds present in this extract might protect the prevention of lipoperoxidation of subcellular membranes in a dosage-dependent manner, and thus help with the prevention of atherosclerosis
Turmeric inhibits cancer cell lines
Turmeric on the one hand should be able to prevent the formation of tumors, thus acting cancer prevention. On the other hand, a new study indicates that turmeric can prevent metastasis even in cancer that is already present, namely in breast cancer , so that the cancer cell does not spread to the lungs.
Turmeric acts as a switch special transcription factors. These regulate all genes needed for tumorigenesis. Turmeric simply shuts off those transcription factors and stops the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Curcumin is yet another anti-cancer or cell-protecting mechanism. According to US-scientists, it strengthens the membranes of the body’s cells, thereby increasing their resistance to pathogens.The curcumin molecules are incorporated into the lipid bilayer of the cell membranes and thus stabilize them.
However, only the healthy cells are strengthened and stabilized. Interestingly, the membrane of cancer cells became more permeable and lost stability in the corresponding studies by the incorporation of the curcumin.
Curcumin helps diabetics regulate blood sugar levels
Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for cataractogenesis. Initial studies have shown that curcumin has a very positive effect on elevated blood sugar levels.
Aldose reductase has been reported to play an important role in sugar-induced cataract. The aldose reductase inhibitory activity of O.sanctum, W. somnifera, C. longa, and A. indica was studied together with their effect on sugarinduced cataractogenic changes in rat lenses in vitro (Halder et al., 2003).
As a potent antioxidant, curcumin is useful in preventing glucose-induced oxidative stress in the endothelial cells and in the heart of diabetic animals. Because the longa component apparently improves the insulin sensitivity of the cells, so that more blood sugar can be absorbed into the cells.
It is therefore believed that regular consumption of turmeric or the use of curcumin in diabetes could facilitate the control of blood sugar levels .
It has also been observed that short-term treatment of diabetic rats with curcumin prevents diabetes-induced decreased antioxidant enzyme levels and kidney dysfunction; an important activity by the fact that diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of morbidity in diabetic patients.
Use, Dosage and Side Effects of Turmeric
Turmeric is available as a ground spice almost everywhere. To be sure that the turmeric has not been irradiated, you should only use turmeric in organic quality .
In order to benefit from the positive qualities of the superfood, the consumption of half a teaspoon of turmeric powder is sufficient throughout the day – as seasoning in food, in warm milk or as a “shot” with water or juice, lemon and some oil.
Turmeric is particularly good in rice, potato and vegetable dishes. The bioavailability and thus the effect of curcumin can be significantly increased when taken together with with some oil and piperine, a black pepper active ingredient.
Curcumin – combined with piperine – is also is already available in capsules, which not only makes it easier to take, but also helps to absorb sufficient amounts of curcumin every day.
What are the side effects of turmeric?
Even in very high doses, there are no side effects after turmeric intake. In the 4,000 studies published so far no side effects have occurred at normal doses. Turmeric can be well integrated into the daily diet.
So again, that the good effects are really guaranteed, you should buy organic quality.
Side effects of excessive intake of turmeric are also few, but most of the problems described relate to the gastrointestinal tract: upset stomach, diarrhea or flatulence. If you find such side effects in you, first reduce the dosage of turmeric.
For a treatment of existing diseases, the concentration of turmeric in powder and root is not enough, so capsules are better. Various manufacturers combine curcumin with piperine for better bioavailability of antioxidant curcumin.
Since there is still no scientific evidence on the efficacy of turmeric for pregnant women, turmeric should be treated with caution by pregnant women.
Why should not turmeric be eaten raw?
Turmeric can be used just like ginger fresh and raw, for example, cut into small pieces or finely grated. Fresh turmeric, however, tastes more bitter than the powder – and therefore it is not for everyone a taste experience and not very common.
Why should I heat turmeric?
In addition to oil and piperine, heat also helps to provide the body with better curcumin. In addition to the better development of the flavorings, the active ingredients of turmeric can be better absorbed by heating.
Natural bleaching: Why does turmeric make teeth whitish?
Radiantly beautiful teeth thanks to turmeric, the yellow spice? Actually, that sounds a bit absurd. But: It really works! For a natural bleaching for the teeth you need: 1 teaspoon coconut oil mixed with ½ tsp turmeric. Mix the two ingredients together and then brush your teeth with them (due to the risk of discolouration, it is better to use an old toothbrush).
Then you let the mass act for 5 minutes and then rinse your mouth with plenty of water – voià, your hollywood rays are done. With regular use, turmeric not only has a positive effect on your tooth color, but also solves plaque.
With its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, turmeric can help prevent swelling and inflammation in the mouth.