Turmeric is a plant that has a very long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4000 years. In Southeast Asia, turmeric is used not only as a principal spice but also as a component in religious ceremonies. Because of its brilliant yellow color, turmeric is also known as “Indian saffron.” Modern medicine has begun to recognize its importance, as indicated by the over 3000 publications dealing with turmeric that came out within the last 25 years. Medicines derived from plants have played a pivotal role in the health care of many cultures, both ancient and modern (Newman, Cragg, and Sander 2003; Butler 2004; Balunas and Kinghorn 2005; Gurib-Fakim 2006; Newman and Cragg 2007). The Indian system of holistic medicine known as “Ayurveda” uses mainly plant-based drugs or formulations to treat various ailments, including cancer.
- Turmeric helps with overall inflammation.
Turmeric and Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory which helps relieve pain
“Oxidative stress has been implicated in many chronic diseases, and its pathological processes are closely related to those of inflammation, in that one can be easily induced by another. In fact, it is known that inflammatory cells liberate several reactive species at the site of inflammation leading to oxidative stress, which demonstrates the relationship between oxidative stress and inflammation.”
In a recent study, 28 healthy subjects that did not participate in resistance training were randomly assigned to receive either curcumin (400 mg/day) for two days before and four days after participating in an eccentric exercise designed to induce muscle soreness. Curcumin supplementation resulted in significantly smaller increases in creatine kinase (CK) (−48%), TNF-α (−25%), and IL-8 (−21%) following exercise compared to the placebo.
2. Helps balance blood sugar levels
Another study in 2009, from Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications, published a lab study out of Auburn University that explored the potential of curcuminoids to lower blood glucose levels. The study discovered that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than metformin (a common diabetes drug) in activating the enzyme AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase).
3.Mood and Memory Support
A newer study from UCLA in 2018 showed promising benefits in memory and attention abilities.
Forty participants took part in the study, and the “treatment group who took curcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not,” Small said.
In memory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 percent over the 18 months. Those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood, and their brain PET scans showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those who took placebos. Amyloid and Tau Signals are also hallmark signs of inflammation in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Please see my previous post for Salman Roe and APOE4 here.
4. Supports detoxification
An important benefit of turmeric is its ability to detoxify the body. Every day, you are likely exposed to environmental and dietary toxins known as xenobiotics. These chemical substances are often associated with increased amounts of inflammation and higher risk of cancer.
It seems that consumption of this Turmeric and its active compound, curcumin, can help support the liver in efficiently detoxifying the body and fight off some of the effects of dangerous carcinogens. One way it does this is by enhancing your body’s own endogenous production of Glutathione and SOD. Glutathione has also been considered the “the mother of all antioxidants”, by Dr. Mark Hyman. Please see my previous Instagram post over Glutathione here.
“Superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase are antioxidant enzymes which do not only play fundamental but indispensable role in the antioxidant protective capacity of biological systems against free radical attack.”
5. Promotes cardiovascular health.
Curcumin has been shown to attenuate oxidative stress and to exert a cardioprotective effect owing to its lipid-lowering properties.
A meta-analysis study looked at 7 different studies with 650 patients to assess the efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipids in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Turmeric and curcumin significantly reduced serum LDL-C compared to the control group.
A 75 patient study showed the administration of low-dose curcumin showed a trend of reduction in total cholesterol level and LDL cholesterol level in ACS patients.
A new way to look at Turmeric…
Research has become hyper focused on increasing absorption at costs. In fact, some claims of up to 100 times better absorption are commonly touted in the marketplace. Some of the ways to increase absorption is through a using a concentrated black pepper form called BioPerine. Black pepper no doubt increases absorption, but it does this by opening the channels in our gut allowing other harmful bacteria and toxins to enter our blood stream. Please look at this blog post here from Dr. Maffetone below for more info- https://philmaffetone.com/danger-in-black-pepper/
So not only can increasing absorption be bad, we also haven’t seen improved clinical outcomes with these products. Another thing seen with these advanced delivery systems is that they bypass normal gut metabolism, and new research is showing that the microbiota and the microbiome should be the key target of metabolism.
The phytochemical analysis of turmeric has revealed that there are 200-plus bioactive molecules present in the natural matrix of turmeric that contribute to its health benefits. When you standardize to curcumin only, you miss out on these effects by only concentrating on one compound. Please look at the chart below of some other compounds in Turmeric and their benefits.
MODERN WISDOM MEETS CURRENT TECHNOLOGY
Based on emerging science research, a whole matrix Tumeric product from Ortho Molecular Products has been my new Turmeric supplement of choice! TURIVA by Ortho Molecular is standardized to less curcumin 45-55%, to allow for more room for the entire root. It also includes Tumerone Oil, Tumerin Protein, Polysaccharides, and Fiber to allow for natural delivery of this beneficial plant to our microbiome. This is a great example of where “less is more”, can have amazing benefits!
The graph below compares a whole matrix turmeric product (Cureit/Acumin) to some other major “advanced delivery systems” in the marketplace today.
The graphical representation of the mean concentrations (ng/mL) of the three formulated curcuminoids at different intervals of time.
As you can see by the graph, it was concluded that the OrthoMolecular raw material (Cureit) has a significantly higher bio-availability per mg of curcumin, staying in the bloodstream nearly 12 hours longer. Complete Turmeric Matrix, is not only safe and well tolerated by healthy human volunteers, but also a better option in comparison to competing brands.
Thirty-six male rheumatoid arthritis patients received whole turmeric matrix (Cureit/Acumin) (500 mg X 2) for a period of 90 days, reported statistically significant change/decrease in their clinical symptoms towards the end of the study.
- Over 88% improvement in the low dose and high dose group for Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
- 80% improvement in Rheumatoid Factor in the low dose group
- 84% improvement in Rheumatoid Factor in the high dose group
- 29% improvement in CRP in the low dose group
- 49% improvement in CRP in the high dose group
- Placebo had negligible effects with pain remaining relatively the same compared to the treatment groups.
Based on this groundbreaking information, I predict more companies and manufacturers will follow suit and use a more whole food approach to Turmeric and Curcumin.
So, if you have tried turmeric before and didn’t notice any effects, maybe it’s time to “back to its roots” and try a full spectrum turmeric product!
I truly believe this where “modern wisdom meets current technologies”.
Nature always knows best!
References Turmeric Tea Benefits Immunity, Blood Sugar & Cholesterol DrAxe.com Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650394 Complete Guide to Growing a Turmeric Plant at Home by HappyDIYHome Staff https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/ Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1267604 Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19665995 Curcumin Activates AMPK Pathway and Regulates Lipid Metabolism in Rats Following Prolonged Clozapine Exposure https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5632657/ Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says Efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipid levels in patients with cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5637251/ Danger in Black Pepper https://philmaffetone.com/danger-in-black-pepper/