Introduction to Turmeric and Curcumin
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that historically has been used for multiple health benefits. These benefits range from skin benefits, preventing and treating certain cancers, reducing inflammation and providing a source of antioxidants. Others include depression treatment, stress reducer, cholesterol management, and more.
What is Curcumin?
The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is also available in supplement form. It is this ingredient that takes credit for the benefits of turmeric. Both turmeric and curcumin can be absorbed for their benefits. As such, there are options to incorporate one, either, or both into a dietary regime. This is based on the method of ingestion that works best incorporated into your health and wellness regime.
Turmeric can be ingested in various forms and incorporated into your diet regime to improve your overall well-being. Ranging from heart health, inflammation reduction, skin improvement, stress reduction, depression treatment, prevention of certain cancers, lower cholesterol levels, the proven benefits of turmeric and its main ingredient curcumin are vast. and backed by proven studies.
To learn more about how turmeric and curcumin can treat conditions or help with ailments and general well-being, here are 11 proven curcumin and turmeric benefits.
11 Proven Benefits – Turmeric and Curcumin
1. Acts as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Remedy
With the anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric and curcumin serve as a natural anti-inflammatory option that sometimes proves more effective than traditional over the counter and prescription alternatives. Additionally, in studies on the use of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory agent, there are very little side effects. Usually, the side effects, if present, are a bit lower than other inflammation treatment options.
Along the same lines, curcumin and turmeric can assist with healing and preventing bruises as well as pain management. It can also help persons suffering from chronic illnesses that impact the inflammation system. For example, curcumin has also shown positive results in Alzheimer’s patients which attacks the inflammation system. Curcumin has helped in studies that used this form of treatment on patients with Alzheimer’s given its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Moreover, a study conducted on aspirin, ibuprofen, curcumin, and other anti-inflammatory substances found that curcumin was a more potent anti-inflammatory agent. Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/1208169. This was especially so when compared to aspirin and ibuprofen. The latter two were found to be less potent than curcumin and the other anti-inflammatory supplements studied. Curcumin was shown as a strong anti-inflammatory remedy with few side effects according to this study as well as others..
2. Natural Support for Better Heart Health
One other benefit of curcumin pertains to heart health. Some heart conditions that research indicates turmeric can benefit as a remedy include cardiac fibrosis, myocarditis, atherosclerosis, and cardiotoxicity. For those that have recently suffered a heart attack, research has shown that turmeric may help repair the damaged cells. Studies show that it aides in the recovery of patients that have suffered a heart attack. However, it can help prevent heart diseases as well. Source: https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/how-turmeric-benefits-your-heart.
Studies have shown that curcumin may help prevent heart failure. Additionally, a more recent study conducted on mice indicated that curcumin may reduce the build-up of fatty deposits which can cause clogged arteries. Source: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20090720/curcumin-may-prevent-clogged-arteries. As such, curcumin can potentially prevent the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. The risk of clogged arteries and potentially altering plaque buildup are reduced. Both of which could improve the risk of developing future heart problems.
In fact, some doctors believe that turmeric can maybe prevent heart attacks due to its anti-inflammatory property as well as its ability to prevent blood clotting in a similar manner to the use of aspirin. The benefit of turmeric though is that while it provides similar effects as the heart health-related benefits of an aspirin regime, it does so in a more calming manner with fewer side effects. Source: https://www.techtimes.com/articles/220893/20180216/turmeric-can-help-prevent-heart-attacks-doctor-says.htm.
3. Depression Treatment
Another benefit of turmeric and curcumin is the possibility of an alternative or supplement treatment for patients suffering from depression. There have been studies with persons experiencing depression that have shown promising results. One study indicated more positive results and lower side effects as compared to one popular prescription medication in a study with patients diagnosed with Major Depression Disorder (MDD). Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23832433. This article goes into more depth on the results of the study.
Additionally, due to its anti-inflammatory that assists with pain caused by inflammation, turmeric can aide in the relief of depression symptoms that are, at least in part, due to a patient suffering from chronic pain or illness. Also, the ability of curcumin to regulate the stress hormone can help alleviate the impacts of anxiety and depression that some persons experience from chronic stress.
4. Treatment and Prevention for Certain Types of Cancer
Prevention and Treatment from Curcumin
Curcumin has also proven beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancer. Studies suggest that this powerful spice and its active ingredient can both prevent and slow the progression of at least some types of cancer, although additional studies may indicate its benefit for other types of cancer as well in the future. Based on studies performed, curcumin is believed to have anti-cancer agents that can potentially kill active cancer cells and prevent or slow the progression of new ones from forming. Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric.
Bowel Cancer Studies
In a study conducted by an international research group on patients with bowel cancer, the researchers concluded that a therapy treatment of curcumin combined with chemotherapy showed better results on patients with bowel cancer as compared to the patients that used a treatment of chemotherapy alone. Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric.
Types of Cancer that Curcumin Has Helped in Treating
Overall the studies performed using curcumin to assist in cancer treatment have shown promising outcomes for curcumin both in terms of a treatment regime and as a means of preventing the formation or spread of cancer cells.
According to the UK Cancer Research UK organization, based on studies conducted to date the types of cancer that may benefit more from turmeric or curcumin include bowel cancer, skin cancer, stomach cancer, and breast cancer. Source: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/turmeric.
Decreased Side Effects
However, even though initial studies show few side effects, especially compared with current treatments, further studies will shed more light on potential side effects involved if used as a long-term treatment for cancer and in high doses. Nonetheless, the initial findings are encouraging.
5. Arthritis Remedy
With its anti-inflammatory properties and potent antioxidants, curcumin and turmeric are great potential remedies for those suffering from arthritis.
In a study conducted on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, it was found that the group given curcumin showed higher improvement than the group that was given a traditional medication prescribed for arthritis. Additionally, there were no negative side effects or adverse reactions in the group that took curcumin. The study suggests that curcumin may provide a more effective and safer treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780.
Many other studies have supported that turmeric and curcumin can provide relief to patients with arthritis based on its anti-inflammatory qualities along with low side effects.
6. Acts as a Natural Pain Remedy
Curcumin also benefits patients suffering from chronic or acute pain. It and turmeric contain natural pain relief qualities that may assist in relieving chronic or acute pain. Studies have also indicated that curcumin can assist in providing relief for chronic pain patients. Additionally, it may be able to replace other pain medicines due to its anti-inflammatory nature, depending on the pain treated and the patient.
Results by studies on the use of curcumin to treat chronic pain provide strong indicators that curcumin and turmeric may serve as both a supplement pain reliever and an alternative to over-the-counter and prescription medications. Also, a study performed on rats showed that it produced natural opioid receptors which suggest that it can promote pain reduction in a natural way by promoting the body’s ability to fight pain without the use of medications. Source: https://draxe.com/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/.
7. Weight Loss Aide and Metabolism Booster
Turmeric and curcumin have also been shown to assist in combating obesity by reducing the inflammation and presence of fat cells that contribute to increased weight. By doing so it can assist as a weight loss remedy for obesity, but also for persons that are seeking out an additional supplement to incorporate into their diet and exercise regime with the goal of losing weight. Source: https://draxe.com/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/.
Fat Cell Reduction
A study performed indicated the curcumin may reduce body fat, regulate the hormone associated with the body’s production of fat cells, decrease the level of blood lipids present in the body, and improve insulin activity. This positive impact on metabolism can then decrease the risk of developing the heart condition of atherosclerosis in patients that have diabetes type II. Source: https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/how-turmeric-benefits-your-heart.
Moreover, curcumin has been reported to assist in boosting metabolism. This benefit can enhance a weight loss regime and show more weight loss effects and increased metabolic health when this supplement is incorporated into a person’s diet.
8. Improve the Appearance of Skin and Act as a Natural Remedy for Some Skin Problems and Conditions
One type of benefit of turmeric is one that most people will likely find attractive as it also increases the attractiveness of the skin. Due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects of turmeric and curcumin, another proven benefit is the positive impacts this herbal remedy or spice can provide to the skin.
Overview of Some Skin Benefits from Turmeric
As such, turmeric can provide multiple benefits to the skin, including:
- Supporting a more youthful appearance with glowing skin
- Enhancing the healing process for wounds or cuts
- Speeding up the bruise healing process
- Stimulating circulation and decreasing inflammation to reduce the appearance of under-eye circles
- Improving the functioning of membrane skin cells through its antioxidant attributes, which can reduce the visibility of stretch marks
- Reducing psoriasis flares
- Reducing the appearance of acne scars and help clear up current acne marks present by calming the skin and pores and reducing inflammation
General Appearance of Skin
Many have found that curcumin can generally enhance the look and elasticity of the skin as well as help prevent or treat some skin ailments or problem spots. Turmeric is known for its abilities to provide the skin with a more natural glow in those that consume it as a supplement. Moreover, it can provide additional benefits to skin and ailments afflicting it to overall assist in the appearance of a person’s skin.
Additionally, since it promotes more circulation and has a lightening effect, turmeric can assist in lessening the appearance of dark under-eye circles. Other benefits from the antioxidant properties include a remedy for stretch marks and for improving dry skin. Source: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001299126/six-amazing-skin-benefits-of-turmeric.
Enhance the Healing Process of Wounds
Curcumin has been reported to help with the healing process for wounds and cuts by reducing the oxidation and inflammation as well as reducing the body’s reaction to cutaneous wounds. These combined effects can promote faster healing when applied to a wound. Moreover, some studies indicate that turmeric can promote the production of healthy tissue and collagen. Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/turmeric-for-skin.
Psoriasis Remedy – Reduction in Flares
Studies have also shown that turmeric can assist patients with psoriasis through its potential to lessen flares and reducing the impact of other psoriasis symptoms. Source: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001299126/six-amazing-skin-benefits-of-turmeric.
Other Skin Ailments
While the results vary on the person and the underlying condition that is being treated, generally it is considered to give skin an increased glow appearance and has proven beneficial as a remedy or treatment for some skin ailments. The overall effect is a boost to promoting more attractive and healthy skin. Preliminary studies show that turmeric may benefit in assisting the treatment of other skin ailments. Even though the results are still preliminary, it is a benefit that those may want to look for increased research if other methods have failed so far. Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/turmeric-for-skin.
9. Digestion Remedy and Detoxifying Agent
Turmeric has aided in relieving some digestion issues. Specifically, it has served as an effective remedy for some persons experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, and acid reflux. Studies have also shown that it may aid patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Additionally, curcumin acts as a detoxifying agent. Consuming it can work as a cleansing agent to remove toxins from the human body. It does so by assisting the liver with ridding the body of toxic agents and cleansing the system. Source: https://draxe.com/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/.
10. Promote Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Turmeric benefits also include the potential for lowering levels of cholesterol when consumed on a regular basis over time. In research conducted on patients ranging in age from 15-45, the results indicated that consuming turmeric extract twice a day for the course of a few months could lead to a reduction in the levels of total cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Source: https://www.techtimes.com/articles/220893/20180216/turmeric-can-help-prevent-heart-attacks-doctor-says.htm.
Also, cholesterol levels may benefit from curcumin due to the positive impact curcumin has on how fat metabolizes. Other studies have found that it can reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Source: https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/how-turmeric-benefits-your-heart.
11. Reduce the Stress Hormone and Reverse the Impacts of Chronic Stress on the Body
Overview of How Turmeric Can Benefit as a Remedy for the Impacts of Stress on the Human Body
Turmeric has also shown to reduce stress and its impacts on the body by suppressing the hormone that responds to stress, cortisol. Source: https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/12/Curcumin-Reverses-Stress/.
Chronic stress can have many adverse effects on the human body which include increased risk of depression and anxiety, risk of heart disease, a decline in physical activity, poor sleep, increased belly fat, and a deterioration in memory retention and cognitive abilities. Curcumin can help and even reverse some of the damage done to the body both emotionally and physically due to suffering from chronic stress which intensifies when the stress is extended over an extended length of time.
Reduction in Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is the hormone that responds to stress. Elevated levels of cortisol can have many negative impacts on the human body. Some of which can include increased belly fat. Curcumin has shown to reduce cortisol levels in studies performed. This can then assist in some of the physical impacts that stress has on the body due to stress.
Restored Energy Levels
In a study on mice, curcumin assisted in restoring energy levels to those that were present prior to prolonged stress situations. It also normalized the cortisol levels and suggested a return to the normal levels that were present prior to the prolonged stress. Source: https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/12/Curcumin-Reverses-Stress/.
Stimulates the Renewal of Brain-Cell Connections
Also, studies suggest that curcumin can promote the recreation of brain-cell connections that are damaged during times of stress. This is in addition to preventing the further destruction of brain cells that often occurs from chronic stress. Source: https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/12/Curcumin-Reverses-Stress/.
Emotional Health and Improved Mental Behaviors
Also, curcumin can help with the anxiety and depression impacts that often accompany long periods of high stress. This is another instance in which curcumin is beneficial to the treatment of depression and mood-related disorders. It also helps regulate the adrenal gland which can help normalize behavior that may be the impact of the pressures and harsh impacts of undergoing prolonged times of stress. Studies have indicated that curcumin may reverse this physical impact that occurs from stress and normalize the mental processes to that of which it was prior to prolonged chronic stress. Source: https://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/12/Curcumin-Reverses-Stress/.
Reduction in Stress Has Both Emotional and Physical Impacts that Curcumin Can Prove Beneficial in Treating
The research conducted on the effects of turmeric and curcumin with stress and the impacts caused by chronic stress is promising. It offers many people hope for an option to take an action to halt and reduce the harmful effects of stress on the body, but also reduce them so that they can go on to live a healthier life without struggling from the lingering deteriorating physical and emotional impacts on the body that occur from high-stress levels for a prolonged time.
There are many, wide-ranging turmeric and curcumin benefits. These have been proven and backed by studies, research, and the experiences of those that have tried it for themselves. While this article discusses some of the main proven benefits, other benefits of this spice and its active ingredient are being researched and may obtain research-proven support soon.
With the information on these eleven proven benefits of turmeric and curcumin provided above, you are on your way to finding a way to incorporate this natural remedy into your health regime to take advantage of one of the many positive impacts that turmeric can offer. This spice and its active ingredient are available as a powder, capsule and pill form. With so many different benefits impacting multiple aspects of the body, both physically and emotionally, many people can find a way to use turmeric to assist in preventing or treating ailments as well as generally enhancing appearance and health.