Researchers confirm antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin and its possible therapeutic usage against different pathological conditions.
One of the best natural disease fighting agents is curcumin. Curcumin is a yellow pigment derived from turmeric
, which is commonly used as a spice and food-coloring agent. It is also used as a cosmetic and in some medical preparations.
Curcumin is a potent antioxidant known to reduce oxidative damage of DNA and proteins. Because of these actions, curcumin is thought to have potential therapeutic benefits in diseases associated with oxidative damage such as certain cancers (prostate, colon, and breast cancer), cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s). Further, numerous researchers have documented curcumin’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, neuroprotective, and immune-enhancing abilities.
What Does This Mean?
Much of the disease, pain, and sickness in the body comes from inflammation. Normally we think of inflammation as stiff joints or heartburn but actually it is much more than that. Things like headaches, acne, and plaque in the arteries are all considered inflammation as well. The more that we can choose to eat sources of anti-inflammatory agents like curcumin, the more we are able to combat these issues. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.
Where to Find Curcumin
Turmeric can be found in the spice section of your local grocery store – however, just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown turmeric since this will give you more assurance that the herb has not been irradiated.
If you aren’t a fan of the taste, or just prefer to not to have to spend time and energy making sure you get your curcimin in for the day, you can simply add a supplement containing turmeric extract to your daily vitamin regime. Here at Live Well 360° we believe that supplementation is far under-rated, and if we make a choice to be more proactive about supplementing our bodies with proper nutrients and minerals now, than it will save us a lot of pain, money, and pre-mature aging in the long run. When our cells are happy, we feel happy.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-25