Everyone Seems to Be Excited About the Health Benefits of Curcumin
Everyone seems to be excited about the health benefits of curcumin. It is currently being studied as a possible treatment for several types of cancer and as a treatment for Alzheimer’s. If you’re like most people, your hope is to prevent those diseases. It might be beneficial for that, too.
Some studies indicate that it reduces the risk of colon cancer, a very common form of the disease. If you pay much attention to the news, you may have seen that eating lots of fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of colon cancer by 20-25%, as long as you don’t smoke.
Older studies indicated that high blood levels of vitamin A and E were associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer. But, studies of smokers found that the vitamins actually seemed to increase their risk of lung cancer. Obviously, the key to reducing your risk of all kinds of cancer is first to avoid known carcinogens and there are lots of carcinogens in cigarette smoke.
For non-smokers the health benefits of curcumin are similar to those that accompany a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Scientists believe that the primary benefits of plant foods are due to their antioxidant content.
Curcumin is an antioxidant found in the spice plant turmeric. There are different antioxidants in other plants. For example, ginger, a different spice, contains gingerol. Green tea contains catechins. Grape skin contains resveratrol. Grape seeds contain proanthocyanidins. Bilberry contains anthocyanins. All of these are antioxidants that are important to health, because they address one of the causes of cellular aging. That is free radical damage.
But, the health benefits of curcumin are not strictly limited to its antioxidant activity. It also has anti-inflammatory activity. Chronic inflammation plays a role in many painful degenerative diseases, but it also plays a role in heart disease and cancer. Other known antioxidants have anti-inflammatory activity, too. Chronic inflammation is another of the causes of cellular aging.
Some anti-aging supplements contain extracts from turmeric and other plants that are known to address the causes of cellular aging. Many people see some interesting results when they increase their nutrient intake through supplementation. Several people have reported that their gray hair turned back to its original color.
If you do some research, you will see that there is lots of science to support the idea of increasing nutrient intake, without increasing caloric intake. Supplementation is the only way to do that.
The health benefits of curcumin seem almost too good to be true, when you look at the entire list. Scientists have found that it has antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-parasitic, too. The benefit related to Alzheimer’s has to do with its anti-amyloid activity. Amyloid-beta proteins compose the plaque that strangles and kills brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients. Laboratory studies indicate that curcumin breaks up those plaques and prevents new ones from forming.
Other age-related diseases, including heart disease and degenerative eye diseases are caused by plaque accumulation. So, basically, the health benefits of curcumin apply to all areas of the body. It is one of the many plant compounds that could help you live a longer, healthier life.