Curcumin: Curry’s secret agent
|Curcumin, Curcuminoids, and Curamin||Darrell Miller||04/30/08|
April 30, 2008 10:40 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Curcumin, Curcuminoids, and Curamin
Curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, possesses many potentially far-reaching health benefits. After many studies preformed on humans, animals, and in-vitro, it has been found that curcumin may be helpful in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, and cancer. All of these previously listed diseases share an underlying inflammation, which can be diminished by curcumin.
If you have ever eaten curry or cooked with the spice turmeric, you’ve consumed curcumin. Curcumin, which consists of several curcuminoids, is the active constituent of turmeric, which is used in curry. Turmeric is biologically related to ginger. Curcumin works as an antioxidant by boosting levels of glutathione S-transferase, which is one of the body’s main antioxidants. It also blocks the formation of the prostaglandin E2, which is compound that promotes inflammation within the body. Curcumin also inhibits the activity of nuclear factor kappa beta, which is another substance that is involved in inflammation. Additionally, it reduces the activity of COX-2 and 5-LOX, which are two more inflammation-promoting enzymes. Lastly, curcumin prevents mutations that can result in DNA, which helps to maintain healthier, younger cells.
Curcumin taken as a supplement can help with any conditions and diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, liver and kidney protection, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory diseases. A study using a curcumin-rich turmeric extract done at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, treated rheumatoid arthritis in laboratory animals. The results showed that this extract blocked joint inflammation as well as the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone by inhibiting the genes that are involved in inflammation. Curcumin also holds a great amount of promise in preventing cancer and also as an adjunct treatment.
Animal studies have shown that curcumin can protect against colon, intestinal, oral, and skin cancers as its benefits come from several mechanisms. First of all, it blocks the cell-growth cycle in cancer cells, which leads to cell destruction. Additionally, it reduces free radicals by its antioxidant properties, which can lead to cancer-causing cell mutations. Studies have also found that curcumin can protect the liver from a variety of toxic compounds. One recent study left researchers reporting that curcumin increased the clearance of creatinine and urea, which are signs of improved kidney function. It also reduced liver damage from toxic chemicals and excess iron.
Japanese doctors have recently used curcumin to treat patients with ulcerative colitis. A combination of curcumin and conventional medications has led to the best benefits over six months of treatment. Since inflammation is the root of all chronic degenerative diseases, curcumin is likely to be beneficial for many different conditions. So far, research has identified curcumin’s benefits for diabetic retinopathy, lung disorders, and skin problems including psoriasis.
Turmeric, which is the source of curcumin, has been used as a culinary spice for the past 2,000 years, was used by ancient Greeks, and is now a widely recommended Ayurvedic medicine. It is native to India and other regions of South Asia. By eating a lot of curry, which is rich in curcumin, you may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and help to maintain mental function. One study proved that people who often ate curry had half the risk of becoming mentally impaired. By eating curry on occasion, the risk of mental decline can be reduced by a little more than a third. Curcumin can be safely taken in amounts from 500 to 8,000 mg daily. Look for a standardized supplement containing at least 90 percent curcumin.