What is Tumeric ?
Tumeric is a vibrant yellow-orange root that’s antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory, a free radical scavenger and antimicrobial. Turmeric root has been used in Ayurveda to promote health and wellbeing for thousands of years.
It goes by many names, Turmeric, Curcuma longa Linn and Zingiberaceae. Turmeric is a non-toxic herb, attributed with many health benefits even in traditional fields of medicine (1).
Curcumin is the bioactive (2), fat soluble nutrient derived from turmeric root that contains many health enhancing properties. It’s important to note that curcumin must be delivered (in high quantities) along with healthy fats to become bioavailable. When nutrients are “bioavailable” or Absorbable they become readily available in circulation for our bodies to benefit from.
What are the benefits of Consuming Tumeric
The health benefits of curcumin stem from its natural anti-inflammatory properties, however they branch out to a vast array of therapeutic effects. From reducing joint pain, helping people overcome the devastating symptoms of major depression disorder (MDD) (3) promoting muscle and joint recovery in athletes, as a natural painkiller for toothache and much more.
Tumeric is Antioxidant Rich
Cellular degradation due to oxidative stress is prevalent in all forms of illness and injury, both chronic and acute. Free radicals formed after injury, strenuous exercise, excessive stress or trauma all trigger the body’s inflammatory response. Curcumin works to effectively promote a healthy anti-inflammatory response (4) while also acting to remove toxic free radicals.
Tumeric Promotes Longevity and a Youthful Appearance
Oxidative stress and free radicals promote premature aging and disease. Therefore, ensuring adequate intake of bioavailable curcumin can promote longevity and a youthful appearance.
By fighting off free-radicals, curcumin promotes many healthy anti-inflammatory responses in our bodies. Effectively, down regulating pro-inflammatory substances like Oxidised LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) which is produced by active free radicals in our cardiovascular system.
Tumeric Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Our hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is known as the “stress response system” of the body. When stimulated, this stress response system can bring about behavioural changes. On a physiological level it uses up our magnesium reserves, in turn promoting inflammation.
Prolonged (chronic) stress can become extremely detrimental and create systemic inflammation leading to illness. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, supplementing our diet with bioavailable curcumin can allow our nervous system to heal (5).
Tumeric Improves Cognitive Function
Inflammation in the brain can cause headaches and cognitive decline. The sensory neurons in our brain are particularly susceptible to becoming overwhelmed by inflammation (6). Curcumin can promote a positive anti-inflammatory response that can work to reduce inflammation in the brain, thus reducing headeaches or migraines.
Additionally curcumin promotes the creation of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) (7) – the brains growth hormone. The surge of BDNF promotes the growth of new, healthy brain cells, improving cognitive function.
Dental Applications of Turmeric
Curcumin has many applications in the field of dentistry, as a natural pain relieving topical application or as a mouthwash. Due to its antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities, turmeric can be used to reduce infection in the mouth. Turmeric can also provide relief from gingivitis and periodontitis (8) when applied topically.
Liver Protective Qualities of Tumeric
Curcumin has been proven to be hepatoprotective, meaning it helps protect the liver from toxins. These toxins include those built up from paracetamol (acetaminophen) (9), carbon tetrachloride and aflatoxins. The detoxification properties of curcumin are due, in part, to the anti-inflammatory properties and the fact that it reduces the formation of cytokines that promote inflammation.
How do we Enhance the Bioavailability or Absorption of Tumeric in our Bodies
Curcumin is notoriously hard for the body to absorb. Making sure that you consume the most bioavailable turmeric supplement will ensure that you glean all of the healing benefits. Just taking turmeric alone is not enough, the curcumin must be readily absorbable by our system for us to yield the various health benefits. This can be done in a variety of ways such as:
Consuming Tumeric with a Healthy Oil
Some studies show that taking curcumin along with black cumin (Nigella sativa) provides optimal absorption and additional anti-inflammatory benefits. Nigella satva contains a phytochemical known as thymoquinone that has both anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties.
Therefore taking turmeric along with black cumin oil can greatly enhance the healing effects of curcumin. The essential fatty acids available in black cumin oil enhance the fat soluble curcumins ability to be absorbed.
Enhance Absorption of Tumeric by 2000%
The best way to ensure that you absorb the optimal amount of turmeric is by consuming it with black pepper. The reason for this is that black pepper contains a compound called “piperine” (which is an absorption enhancer). By consuming piperine with curcumin it has been scientifically proven that you increase the bioavailablity by a whopping 2000%. (11)If you’re looking for a supplement that contains piperine, look out for the ingredient “BioPerine” because that is the trademarked name for piperine.
Selecting High Quality Tumeric Supplements
Although curcumin is touted as the “active” ingredient within turmeric, there are many studies that site other components of turmeric contain healing effects when consumed together. Curdione is one of the components of turmeric (12) that has powerful antifungal properties when combined with other aspects of turmeric.
Therefore, normally when looking for a Turmeric supplement it is best to go for whole turmeric rather than curcumin isolate. However, there are some instances where strong curcumin isolate provides optimal benefits, such as with arthritis patients. (13)
When selecting a turmeric supplement, look for supplements that contain BioPerine and high amounts of curcumin. Ordinary turmeric spices contain approx. 3% curcumin, compared to 95% curcumin found within supplements. (14) The recommended therapeutic dose is 500-2000mg per day. However, individual circumstances vary and the dosage should be verified by your health practitioner.
When you should NOT take Tumeric
High doses of turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause stomach upset. Avoid turmeric/curcumin if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), are about to have surgery, are pregnant or have gallbladder disease.
Turmeric supplementation can provide some powerful therapeutic qualities due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. When consuming a turmeric supplement it is important to ensure that there is a high dosage of bioavailable curcumin. We stock a daily oral spray which is high in curcumin. Our spray is uniquely formulated to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and helps to avoid stomach irritation.
Turmeric is also recommended by the Arthritis Foundation
please give us a call on 0141 887 3734 to buy our high quality supplements or go straight to our online shop, just follow the link below:
1. Role of curcumin in systemic and oral health: An overview
2. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa)
3. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled
4. Antioxidant curcuma extracts decrease the blood lipid peroxide levels of human subjects
5. Curcumin promotes nerve regeneration and functional recovery in rat model of nerve crush injury.
6. Pathophysiology of migraine
7. Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
8. Biological activity of curcuminoids isolated from Curcuma longa
9. Cytotoxic and cytoprotective activities of curcumin. Effects on paracetamol-induced cytotoxicity, lipid peroxidation and glutathione depletion in rat hepatocytes.
10. Thymoquinone Inhibits Autophagy and Induces Cathepsin-Mediated, Caspase-Independent Cell Death in Glioblastoma Cells
11. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.
12. Antifungal activity, main active components and mechanism of Curcuma longa extract against Fusarium graminearum
13. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials
14. Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements and Spices Review