“TURMERIC IS A BRIGHT YELLOW SPICE THAT IS TYPICALLY USED FOR FLAVOR AND COLOR IN ASIAN CUISINE. IT HAS AN EARTHY AROMA, AND ITS FLAVOR PROFILE IS SLIGHTLY PEPPERY AND BITTER, WITH A SUBTLE GINGER TASTE. TURMERIC CONTAINS THREE NATURALLY OCCURRING PHYTOCHEMICALS CALLED CURCUMINOIDS, THE MOST NOTABLE AND RESEARCHED OF WHICH IS CURCUMIN.” It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics.
Turmeric is commonly used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a type of liver disease, and itching. Some people use turmeric for heartburn, thinking and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other conditions, but there no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
“Turmeric is generally recognized as safe. Few side effects have been reported, however some have complained of nausea and diarrhea when taking higher doses. As with any dietary supplement, ask your health care provider before starting turmeric/curcumin as a supportive or preventive therapy to discuss potential side effects, risks, or medication interactions.”
IMPORTANT OF TUMERIC YOU NEED TO KNOW
TURMERIC IS AN ANTIOXIDANT:The 2018 medical review published in the European journal of medical chemistry found that curcumin acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are stable molecules that counterbalance the effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals come from both natural metabolic processes like digestion and outside sources like pollution or cigarette smoke.
When the number of free radicals and antioxidants are balanced in the body, free radicals help fight off pathogens. However, when the balance tips, and there are more free radicals than antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs.Oxidative stress is when free radicals start damaging proteins, fatty tissues, and cell DNA. Over time, this continuous damage may lead to disease like diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A 2010 study published in Clinical Biochemistry found that in 21 patients with b-thalassemia/Hb E — an inherited blood disorder — 500mg of curcuminoids a day for 12 months reduced oxidative stress levels.
TURMERIC MAY HELP TREAT CANCER: Many researchers studies on curcumin have focused on its potential to treat or alleviate symptoms of different types of cancer. Because there is a correlation between chronic inflammation and the development of cancer, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may prove beneficial in fighting the disease.
In fact, a 2019 medical review published in nutrients found that curcumin may prevent the proliferation of breast cancer cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. The same review found that curcumin is being explored as a treatment for lung, colorectal, pancreatic and some other types of cancer. While results are inconclusive, studies have found promising results in test tube and animal studies.
The biggest obstacle in using curcumin in cancer treatment is the human body’s inability to absorb it in any significant quantities. Pharmacologists are working to overcome this obstacle, but until they succeed, neither turmeric nor curcumin is used to treat cancer.
TURMERIC MAY BOOST HEART HEALTH : A 2020 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that healthy participants who consumed between 80 to 4,000 mg of curcumin per day saw key heart health indicators improve. This included a decrease in the amount of fat in their blood as well as a drop in both their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
While consuming 4,000 mg of curcumin a day is a lot, there are currently no known side effects associated with the compound. However, if you are on blood thinners, consult with a doctor before consuming large amounts of curcumin as it is known to thin blood and prevent clotting.
TURMERIC MAY ALLEVIATE DEPRESSION AND PROMOTE BRAIN FUNCTION: According to the results of a 2018 study published in the European jornal of medical chemistry consuming 500 to 1000mg of curcumin daily for at least six weeks improved symptoms of depression and reduced anxiety in multiple clinical trials.
Scientists have also investigated whether or not curcumin could potentially treat or prevent the development of debilitating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
According to a 2008 review published in the Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, curcumin may be effective in managing factors that could lead to the development of Alzheimer’s. These include inflammation, oxidative stress, and the formation of beta-amyloid plaques — an accumulation of small fibers — in the brain.
TURMERIC PROMOTES HEALTHY SKIN: Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin may even improve the appearance of skin.
2007 medical review published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology found that curcumin also had wound-healing properties, possibly making it a good treatment for skin conditions like vitiligo,psoriasis, and various eczemas.
Topical tonics and ointments containing curcumin reduced the time it took for skin wounds to heal, improved the distribution of collagen — the protein that gives skin its elasticity — and promoted the growth of new blood vessels.
SEE YOUR RECOMMENDED INTAKE OF TURMERIC IN YOUR DIET
While The National Institute of Health has not set a daily recommendation for turmeric or curcumin intake, studies have found that a safe daily allowance is 3MG/KG of curcumin.