Turmeric or Curcumin? Which Should I be Using?
Turmeric stems from the Curcuma longa plant, which is a member of the ginger family. This plant which turmeric comes contains a number of phytonutrients,which help to provide not only its bright orange color but it’s health benefits as well. One in particular is Curcumin, which makes up roughly 3.4 percent of the turmeric root-stem or rhizome.
While Turmeric’s phytonutrients get the majority of its recognition, there is an excellent source of iron and manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, copper, and potassium as well!
Curcumin/Tumeric has been linked to research which has shown that they’re considered to be powerhouse for reducing inflammation and cholesterol. While combating oxidative stress, controlling blood sugar, improving cognitive functioning, reducing risks of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease through its high level of antioxidants, bioflavonoids, vitamin c, vitamin a, and beta carotene!
PubMed.com, a research database maintained by the National Institutes of Health, lists 7,728 studies involving curcumin and another 3,205 studies involving turmeric, with the large majority focused on their effectiveness against multiple medical conditions.
How does it help to lower inflammation?
Turmeric helps to combat systemic inflammation through its anti-inflammatory compounds, called curcuminoids. The curcuminoids will inhibit the body's production of proinflammatory signaling compounds called eicosanoids.
Using turmeric to slow the body's production of eicosanoids brings inflammatory levels in the body back to normal levels and as a result, chronic systemic inflammation in the body decreases significantly.
Joseph Maroon, a UPMC neurosurgeon who lead the 2006 study; “Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief in athletes,” concluded that “Curcumin’s therapeutic effects are considered comparable to pharmaceutical nonsteroidal medications ... but with a major difference in that this compound is relatively nontoxic and free of side effects.”
What about the other benefits listed above?
Stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile and its natural ability to suppress stomach acid, it can be used to treat a number of problems including indigestion, bloating, gas, and even ulcerative colitis. Through anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin it lowers the chances of developing ulcers, bleeding in the bowels, and generally eliminates irritation throughout the gut.
Pain relieving abilities are linked in large part to its anti-inflammatory properties; in reducing inflammation, particularly in chronic cases, pain is reduced
Boasts extraordinary benefits for heart health, including an ability to lower cholesterol, prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body, and preventing cholesterol from damaging blood vessels. With it’s high levels of Vitamin B6, the body will be able to efficiently inhibit the production of homocysteine, which is a negative bodily byproduct that seriously damages cell walls. These weakened walls can cause a number of complications in the heart, particularly when exacerbated by high blood pressure or plaque build-up. Secondly, curcumin directly balances your cholesterol levels by eliminating excess LDL (“bad cholesterol”) from the arteries and blood vessels. This can help to prevent atherosclerosis, so when combined with stronger blood vessels, turmeric represents a comprehensive solution for a wide range of heart issues.
Detoxification of the Body: Turmeric and its active organic compounds have also been found to improve liver function and reduce the levels of toxicity in the body. By stimulating the lymphatic system and ensuring that toxins are removed efficiently, the antioxidant activities of turmeric are an ideal solution for liver ailments or toxicity.
Turmeric contains potent antioxidants, that have been linked to increase the natural antioxidant-producing capabilities of our bodies.
Here are some quick tips to help ensure that you’re getting the most of out your turmeric/curcumin use!
Since Turmeric/ Curcumin are not very bio-available meaning that they aren’t easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract, you can improve their absorption by pairing them with essential fatty acids such as coconut oil, whole eggs, extra virgin olive oil, or red palm oil.
Not only do essential fatty acids help to increase absorption but black pepper has been linked to this as well. Research indicates that when paired with 20 mg of piperine (extracted from black pepper) there was a significant increase in the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%
How to supplement?
To help you properly supplement with Turmeric, I have provide the link below to www.Examine.com which states that 2-4g on a daily basis would be sufficient.
Shrikant Mishra, Kalpana Palanivelu. (2008). The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer's disease: An overview. Official Journal of Indian Academy of Neurology. Volume : 11 | Issue : 1 | Page : 13-19.
Di Patre PL, Read SL, Cummings JL, Tomiyasu U, Vartavarian LM, Secor DL, et al. Progression of clinical deterioration and pathological changes in patients with Alzheimers Disease evaluated at biopsy and autopsy. Arch Neurol 1999;56:1254-61
Shishodia S, Sethi G, Aggarwal BB. Getting back to roots. Ann NY Acad Sci 2005;1056:206-17
Kim GY, Kim KH, Lee SH, Yoon MS, Lee HJ, Moon DO, Curcumin inhibits immunostimulatory function of dendritic cells: MAPKs and translocation of NF-B as potential targets. J Immunol 2005;174:8116-24.
DISCLAIMER: Thomas Munck is not a doctor or registered dietitian. The contents of this document should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem - nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.