Tag Archives: Turmeric

The Dark Side of Turmeric: Excessive Consumption Can Lead to Health Risks

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries in cooking, traditional medicine, and religious ceremonies. It’s widely known for its vibrant color and distinct flavor, as well as its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric has become a trendy health food, with claims of preventing and treating various ailments from arthritis to cancer. However, like any other substance, consuming too much turmeric can lead to adverse effects on your health.

In recent years, turmeric supplements and extracts have become increasingly popular, and many people have started incorporating large amounts of turmeric into their diets, often surpassing the recommended daily intake. While turmeric is generally safe in moderate doses, excessive consumption can lead to various health risks, including gastrointestinal issues, liver damage, and even fertility problems.

This article will explore the dark side of turmeric and the potential health risks associated with excessive consumption. We’ll delve into the scientific research on turmeric, highlighting the various compounds and their effects on the body. We’ll also discuss the recommended daily intake and the potential risks of exceeding it. Finally, we’ll provide practical tips on how to incorporate turmeric into your diet safely and effectively, without putting your health at risk.

It’s crucial to understand the potential dangers of turmeric, particularly for those who consume it in large quantities or take supplements regularly. While turmeric is undoubtedly a powerful and beneficial spice, too much of a good thing can have adverse effects on your health. By educating ourselves on the potential risks and using turmeric in moderation, we can reap the benefits of this fantastic spice without putting our well-being at risk.

The Benefits of Turmeric: Understanding its Place in a Healthy Diet

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. This golden yellow spice is derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a warm, bitter taste. In recent years, turmeric has gained popularity in the Western world for its potential health benefits, and has been incorporated into a variety of foods and supplements. Here are some of the benefits of turmeric and why it should be considered as a part of a healthy diet.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which have been attributed to its active ingredient, curcumin. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which can reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk of these health conditions.

Antioxidant Effects

Turmeric also has antioxidant effects, which can protect the body from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. Antioxidants, such as those found in turmeric, neutralize free radicals and prevent them from causing harm. Additionally, curcumin has been shown to increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body, further enhancing its antioxidant effects.

Improved Brain Function

Curcumin has been found to have neuroprotective properties, which means it can protect the brain from damage and potentially improve cognitive function. Studies have shown that curcumin can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that is essential for the growth and survival of brain cells. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to depression and cognitive decline, so increasing BDNF levels through the consumption of turmeric may have benefits for brain health.

Lowered Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and there is evidence to suggest that turmeric may have benefits for heart health. Curcumin has been shown to improve endothelial function, which is the function of the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a precursor to heart disease, so improving endothelial function can potentially lower the risk of heart disease. Additionally, curcumin has been found to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Digestive Benefits

Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Curcumin has been found to stimulate the production of bile, which is essential for the digestion and absorption of fats. Additionally, curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the gut, which can reduce inflammation and potentially improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

In conclusion, turmeric is a spice with a wide range of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant effects, improved brain function, lower risk of heart disease, and digestive benefits. While incorporating turmeric into a healthy diet is generally safe, it is important to note that excessive consumption can lead to health risks. It is always best to consult a healthcare provider before incorporating new supplements or foods into your diet.

The Potential Risks of Excessive Turmeric Consumption: A Closer Look

Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cooking. It is known for its bright yellow color, unique flavor, and potent anti-inflammatory properties. In recent years, turmeric has gained popularity as a superfood and has been added to various health products, including supplements and teas. While turmeric is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation, excessive consumption can have potential health risks. In this article, we will take a closer look at the potential risks of excessive turmeric consumption.

Firstly, turmeric has a compound called curcumin, which is responsible for most of its health benefits. Curcumin has antioxidant properties and can help reduce inflammation in the body. However, studies have shown that excessive consumption of curcumin can lead to gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. This is because curcumin can stimulate the production of gastric acid, which can irritate the stomach lining and cause discomfort. Individuals who are prone to digestive issues or have a history of gastrointestinal problems should consume turmeric in moderation or consult a healthcare provider before taking it in supplement form.

Secondly, turmeric can have blood-thinning effects, which can be a potential concern for individuals taking certain medications, including blood thinners or aspirin. Curcumin can inhibit the activity of platelets, which are responsible for blood clotting. While this property may be beneficial for individuals at risk of blood clots, it can be harmful to those who are already taking blood thinners or have bleeding disorders. Excessive turmeric consumption can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising, and may even interfere with surgical procedures. It is essential to talk to a doctor before consuming turmeric supplements or adding turmeric to your diet if you are taking any medication that affects blood clotting.

Thirdly, turmeric has been shown to have an impact on the liver’s detoxification process. While curcumin has liver-protective properties and can help prevent liver damage, excessive consumption of turmeric can have the opposite effect. Studies have shown that consuming high doses of turmeric can cause liver toxicity, leading to liver damage and even liver failure in severe cases. The liver is responsible for processing and metabolizing substances that enter the body, including medications and supplements. Excessive turmeric consumption can interfere with the liver’s ability to function properly and can lead to serious health problems.

Lastly, turmeric can have an impact on hormone levels, particularly in women. Curcumin can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, which can be beneficial for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. However, excessive consumption of turmeric can interfere with hormone levels and may lead to hormonal imbalances, causing problems like irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, and acne. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also exercise caution when consuming turmeric, as its effects on fetal development are not yet fully understood.

In conclusion, while turmeric is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation, excessive consumption can have potential health risks. The compound curcumin in turmeric has several health benefits but can also cause gastrointestinal problems, blood thinning, liver toxicity, and hormonal imbalances when consumed in excess. It is important to consult a healthcare provider before taking turmeric supplements or adding turmeric to your diet, especially if you have a history of digestive problems, take medication affecting blood clotting, or have a liver or hormonal disorder. Moderation is key to safely and effectively incorporating turmeric into your diet for its numerous health benefits.

Digestive Issues and Turmeric: Why Too Much Can Be a Bad Thing

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a spice, coloring agent, and in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used as a natural remedy for a range of health conditions. However, while turmeric is generally considered safe for consumption, excessive intake can cause digestive issues and other side effects that may be harmful.

One of the most common digestive issues associated with turmeric consumption is stomach upset. Turmeric is known to stimulate the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which can lead to heartburn, indigestion, and even nausea in some individuals. This is especially true for those who consume turmeric in large quantities or on an empty stomach.

Another issue that can arise from excessive turmeric intake is diarrhea. This is because turmeric is a natural laxative and can cause the muscles in the intestines to contract more frequently, leading to loose stools. While this effect may be beneficial for those with constipation or sluggish digestion, it can be problematic for those who are already prone to diarrhea or have sensitive digestive systems.

In addition to stomach upset and diarrhea, consuming too much turmeric can also lead to other digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. This is because turmeric contains a high amount of oxalates, which can form crystals and contribute to the development of kidney stones. Additionally, the spicy nature of turmeric can irritate the digestive tract, causing inflammation and discomfort.

It’s worth noting that not everyone who consumes turmeric will experience these digestive issues. In fact, many people are able to tolerate turmeric without any adverse effects. However, those who are more sensitive or who consume large amounts of turmeric may be at greater risk for digestive problems.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to consume turmeric in moderation and to be mindful of how much you’re consuming. The recommended daily intake of turmeric is about 500-2000 milligrams per day, which is roughly equivalent to 1-2 teaspoons of ground turmeric powder. It’s also a good idea to consume turmeric with food to help prevent stomach upset and to avoid taking it on an empty stomach.

Another way to reduce the risk of digestive issues when consuming turmeric is to choose high-quality turmeric supplements. Look for supplements that contain standardized extracts of curcumin, as these are generally more effective and have fewer side effects than whole turmeric powder. It’s also important to choose supplements that are free from contaminants and are manufactured by reputable companies.

In conclusion, turmeric is a powerful spice with many potential health benefits, but excessive consumption can lead to digestive issues that may be uncomfortable or even harmful. To avoid these problems, it’s important to consume turmeric in moderation and to be mindful of how much you’re consuming. If you experience any digestive issues after consuming turmeric, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and to develop an appropriate treatment plan. With the right approach, you can enjoy the benefits of turmeric without putting your digestive health at risk.

The Impact of Turmeric on Blood Clotting: Understanding the Risks for Certain Populations

Turmeric, a spice often used in traditional Indian cuisine, has been widely touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been studied for its potential benefits in treating a variety of health conditions, including arthritis, cancer, and depression. However, recent research has also raised concerns about the impact of turmeric on blood clotting, particularly for certain populations.

Blood clotting is a critical process that helps the body repair damaged blood vessels and prevent excessive bleeding. However, in some cases, blood clots can form inappropriately, leading to serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. While turmeric is generally considered safe for most people when used in moderation, some studies have suggested that it may have anticoagulant effects, meaning it can slow down blood clotting.

This can be beneficial for some individuals, such as those at risk for blood clots, but it can also be risky for others. For example, people taking certain medications that affect blood clotting, such as warfarin or aspirin, may experience complications if they also consume large amounts of turmeric. Additionally, individuals with bleeding disorders, liver disease, or other medical conditions that affect blood clotting may be at greater risk of experiencing adverse effects from turmeric consumption.

One study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology investigated the impact of turmeric on blood clotting in healthy individuals. The researchers found that consuming 2 grams of turmeric per day for 5 days resulted in a significant increase in bleeding time, indicating that turmeric may have anticoagulant effects. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics found that curcumin supplements may interact with warfarin, a common blood thinner, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding.

While these studies suggest that turmeric may have anticoagulant effects, it’s important to note that the evidence is not conclusive. Other studies have found conflicting results, with some indicating that turmeric has no significant impact on blood clotting. Additionally, the dosage and duration of turmeric consumption may play a role in its effects on blood clotting. Most studies investigating the impact of turmeric on blood clotting have used high doses of curcumin, which may not reflect the amount typically consumed in the diet.

Despite the conflicting evidence, it’s important for individuals at risk of bleeding or taking medications that affect blood clotting to exercise caution when consuming turmeric or curcumin supplements. It’s also important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or making significant changes to the diet.

For individuals who are not at increased risk of bleeding or taking medications that affect blood clotting, turmeric can still be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a potentially helpful food for managing conditions such as arthritis or heart disease. However, moderation is key. Consuming large amounts of turmeric or curcumin supplements may increase the risk of adverse effects, including bleeding or gastrointestinal upset.

In conclusion, while turmeric has numerous potential health benefits, its impact on blood clotting should not be overlooked. For individuals at risk of bleeding or taking medications that affect blood clotting, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before consuming large amounts of turmeric or curcumin supplements. For others, moderation is key when incorporating turmeric into the diet, and it’s important to prioritize a balanced and varied diet for overall health and wellness.

Moderation is Key: Finding the Right Balance for Safe and Effective Turmeric Use.

Turmeric has become a popular health supplement in recent years due to its numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and aiding digestion. However, while turmeric can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet, excessive consumption can lead to health risks. Therefore, it’s essential to find the right balance for safe and effective turmeric use.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with excessive turmeric consumption. Turmeric contains a bioactive compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, curcumin can also interfere with the body’s normal blood clotting process. This can lead to an increased risk of bleeding, particularly in individuals who are already taking blood-thinning medications or have a bleeding disorder.

Additionally, consuming too much turmeric can cause digestive issues, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset. This is because turmeric stimulates the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which can cause irritation and discomfort in some individuals. Furthermore, excessive turmeric consumption may lead to liver damage, as the liver is responsible for metabolizing and removing excess amounts of curcumin from the body.

So, how much turmeric is safe to consume? The recommended daily intake of turmeric varies depending on the individual’s age, sex, and health status. However, a general guideline is to consume no more than 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric per day. It’s also essential to choose a high-quality turmeric supplement from a reputable source to ensure that the product is free of contaminants and contains the correct dosage of curcumin.

It’s also important to note that turmeric is not a cure-all, and it’s not intended to replace conventional medical treatments. While turmeric can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet, it should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new supplements, particularly if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Incorporating turmeric into your diet can be a great way to support overall health and wellness. Turmeric can be used in a variety of dishes, such as curries, stir-fries, and smoothies, and can be added to tea or water for a simple and effective supplement. However, it’s essential to use turmeric in moderation and to be aware of the potential risks associated with excessive consumption.

To ensure safe and effective turmeric use, it’s important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the dosage over time. This will allow your body to adjust to the new supplement and help you determine the optimal dosage for your individual needs. Additionally, it’s important to monitor any side effects or changes in your health and to discontinue turmeric use if you experience any adverse effects.

In conclusion, while turmeric can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet, excessive consumption can lead to health risks. Therefore, finding the right balance for safe and effective turmeric use is essential. By following the recommended dosage guidelines, choosing a high-quality supplement, and monitoring any side effects, you can safely incorporate turmeric into your diet and support your overall health and wellness. Remember, moderation is key!

Advertisement

Study presents evidence supporting the use of curcumin as alternative treatment for kidney fibrosis

By Evangelyn Rodriguez (via Natural News)

Renal or kidney fibrosis is a progressive condition that results from the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins, which can cause structural damage to the kidneys. It signifies a failed wound-healing process and ultimately leads to end-stage kidney disease wherein the kidneys are no longer able to function as they should.

In a recent study, Chinese researchers explored the anti-fibrotic effects of curcumin, the active component of turmeric. Specifically, they looked at how curcumin affects epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. EMT refers to epithelial cells undergoing molecular changes and gaining new characteristics, such as an enhanced ability to produce ECM components. Meanwhile, the PI3K/Akt pathway is one of the major cell signaling pathways that regulate fibrosis.

The researchers reported their findings in an article published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.

Curcumin is an effective alternative treatment for renal fibrosis

According to several animal studies, curcumin can protect the kidneys by preventing the development of renal fibrosis. However, the mechanisms underlying this activity are still unknown.

To explore these mechanisms and the anti-fibrotic activities of curcumin, the researchers treated human kidney tubular epithelial cells (HKCs) with transforming growth factor-B1 (TGF-B1), curcumin and a combination of both. TGF-B1 is a protein that’s involved in many cellular functions, including cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and death, as well as the induction of EMT.

The researchers used 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay to assess the effect of curcumin on cell proliferation. They also used immunocytochemistry, real-time PCR and Western blot to analyze the expression of epithelial cell markers (E-cadherin and cytokeratin), mesenchymal cell markers (vimentin, alpha smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibroblast-specific protein 1 (FSP1)) and key proteins involved in the Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway.

The researchers found that low-dose curcumin (3.125 and 25?micromol/L) effectively promoted HKC proliferation. After 72 hours of incubating HKCs with TGF-B1 and curcumin, curcumin caused the cells to maintain epithelial morphology in a dose-dependent manner. It also decreased the expression of EMT-related proteins, such as vimentin, a-SMA and FSP1, and increased the expression of E-cadherin and cytokeratin. In addition, the researchers noted that curcumin reduced Akt, mTOR and P70S6K phosphorylation, which effectively suppressed the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway in HKCs.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that curcumin is an effective alternative treatment for renal fibrosis because it can promote HKC proliferation and stop EMT by inhibiting the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway activity.

Other health benefits of curcumin

Curcumin from turmeric gained popularity because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, turmeric doesn’t contain high amounts of curcumin, and the compound is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of these, curcumin is usually taken in the form of supplements, which contain significant amounts of the compound as well as piperine from black pepper. Piperine is said to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000 percent.

Here are some of the health benefits associated with curcumin: (h/t to Healthline.com)

  • It helps the body fight foreign invaders and repair damage
  • It helps fight chronic inflammation, which is linked to the onset of life-threatening diseases
  • It increases the body’s antioxidant capacity, which is important for reducing oxidative stress
  • It helps improve brain function and lowers the risk of neurodegenerative diseases
  • It helps lower the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel function
  • It helps prevent and treat cancer
  • It is effective against rheumatoid arthritis
  • It boosts serotonin and dopamine production and shows promise as an antidepressant
  • It helps delay aging and fights age-related chronic diseases

Curcumin from turmeric offers plenty of health benefits. Among these is the prevention or treatment of serious diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and renal fibrosis. To experience these benefits, include turmeric in your daily diet or consider taking curcumin supplements. You can learn more about powerful compounds like curcumin at Phytonutrients.news.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc (via HealthLine)

Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.

Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Share on Pinterest

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.

It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3Trusted Source).

The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.

Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

SUMMARY

Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation is incredibly important.

It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.

Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you.

Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues.

Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source ).

It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (1011Trusted Source).

Without getting into the details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (12Trusted Source1314).

SUMMARY

Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases.

It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.

Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA.

The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals.

Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes (171819Trusted Source).

In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.

SUMMARY

Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases

Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren’t able to divide and multiply after early childhood.

However, it’s now known that this does happen.

Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number.

One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain (20Trusted Source).

Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease (2122).

Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF (2324).

By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function (25Trusted Source).

It may also improve memory and make you smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels. However, controlled studies in people are needed to confirm this (26).

SUMMARY

Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.

5. Curcumin Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world (27Trusted Source).

Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens.

Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it.

Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process (28Trusted Source).

Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels.

It’s well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors (29Trusted Source).

Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that it’s as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin (30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well.

One study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery.

The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital (32Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer

Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.

There are many different forms of cancer, which still have several things in common. Some of them appear to be affected by curcumin supplements (33Trusted Source).

Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that it can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (spread of cancer) (35Trusted Source).

Multiple studies indicate that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumors in test animals (36Trusted Source37Trusted Source).

Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like piperine) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be studied properly.

However, there is evidence that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer.

In a 30-day study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40% (38Trusted Source).

Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and is being intensively studied.

SUMMARY

Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.

7. Curcumin May Be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia.

Unfortunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet.

Therefore, preventing it from occurring in the first place is of utmost importance.

There may be good news on the horizon because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier (39Trusted Source).

It’s known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has beneficial effects on both (40).

In addition, a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques (41Trusted Source).

Whether curcumin can really slow down or even reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in people is currently unknown and needs to be studied properly.

SUMMARY

Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplements

Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries.

There are several different types, most of which involve inflammation in the joints.

Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound, it makes sense that it may help with arthritis.

Several studies show this to be true.

In a study in people with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug (42Trusted Source).

Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms (43Trusted Source44Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression

Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression.

In a controlled trial, 60 people with depression were randomized into three groups (45Trusted Source).

One group took Prozac, another group one gram of curcumin and the third group both Prozac and curcumin.

After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and curcumin fared best (45Trusted Source).

According to this small study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant.

Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory.

Curcumin boosts BDNF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes (46).

There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine (4748).

SUMMARY

A study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition.

10. Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases

If curcumin can really help prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s, it would have obvious benefits for longevity.

For this reason, curcumin has become very popular as an anti-aging supplement (49Trusted Source).

But given that oxidation and inflammation are believed to play a role in aging, curcumin may have effects that go way beyond just preventing disease (50Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity.

The Bottom Line

Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

If you want to buy a turmeric/curcumin supplement, there is an excellent selection on Amazon with thousands of great customer reviews.

It’s recommended to find a product with BioPerine (the trademarked name for piperine), which is the substance that enhances curcumin absorption by 2,000%.

Without this substance, most of the curcumin just passes through your digestive tract.

8 Ways to Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Wellness Routine

Learn how turmeric, one of the most restorative spices, can improve your mental and physical health.

By Mina Dragani (via BE WELL)

Aside from being a spice to add to food dishes, turmeric is something you can incorporate into your wellness routine to boost your energy levels and general quality of life. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can affect both your mental and physical health. In order to experience all of its notable benefits, it is important to mix turmeric with an activating agent like black pepper or cinnamon. 

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, and what gives the spice its fierce orange color. Its healing qualities help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Also, turmeric is scientifically-proven to help cases of depression, anxiety, and arthritis. All in all, turmeric can do no wrong. 

Here are eight ways you can incorporate turmeric into your daily regimen.

Turmeric Latte

1611353754801152 turmeric latte

This Kourtney Kardashian-approved drink is like giving your body (and mind) a hug. It is the perfect energy-boosting beverage to start your day and can even quell feelings of anxiety. This is all due to the curcumin agent’s ability to heighten serotonin and dopamine levels. Consider taking a caffeine hiatus with this Turmeric Latte recipe:

Ingredients: 

  • Two cups of almond milk 
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
  • two tablespoons of maple syrup

Directions: 

Simply warm the milk to your desired temperature, add ingredients, and enjoy. 

Healing Tumeric Tonic

1611354051970617 fermented turmeric tonic

This turmeric-based beverage can help when you are recovering from a sickness, experiencing aches and pains, or simply in need of an extra pick-me-up. This viral tonic recipe only calls for three central ingredients. It combines turmeric, ginger, and cayenne pepper to create a perfect trifecta of wellness. Here’s how to make a tumeric tonic:

Ingredients: 

  • One tablespoon of turmeric 
  • One tablespoon of grated ginger 
  • A dash of cayenne pepper (or black pepper) 
  • One whole lemon 
  • Three cups of water
  • Optional: two tablespoons of maple syrup for sweetness

Directions:

In a saucepan combine turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup (optional), cayenne, and filtered water. Bring to a simmer, strain, and then serve. 

Tumeric Oatmeal

1611354132737177 turmeric oatmeal

Turmeric oatmeal is a tasty way to get your wellness fix. Simply add a teaspoon of turmeric into your favorite oatmeal recipe and indulge in its added health benefits. Starting your morning off with a detoxifying ingredient like turmeric will aid your digestion throughout the day. Garnish with some berries for an antioxidant-packed meal. 

Tumeric Face Mask

1611683756210078 kora turmeric face mask

Outside of being consumed via food and drink, turmeric is similarly excellent for your skin. There are a number of turmeric-based face masks on the market at the moment, like Kora Organics’ Turmeric BHA Brightening Treatment, but a DIY version will also suffice. Turmeric has the ability to give your skin a natural glow due to its rich antioxidants. Additionally, it has strong healing properties that can remedy acne scarring and treat conditions like psoriasis. Have an at-home facial with this DIY face mask recipe: 

Ingredients: 

  • One tablespoon of plain Greek Yogurt
  • One tablespoon of honey 
  • One tablespoon of turmeric 

Directions: 

Mix all ingredients and apply to face for no longer than 15 minutes.

Turmeric Rice

1611354327154657 turmericricerecipe

Turmeric rice is something we tend to enjoy without realizing its evident health benefits. This flavorful rice is popular within Indian cuisine and pairs well with proteins like chicken or tofu. Contrary to its fiery color, turmeric will not add a powerful spice to your food, it has a mild yet delicious taste. Elevate your go-to rice dish by adding two teaspoons of this body-loving ingredient. 

Turmeric Wellness Shots

1611354516016402 ginger turmeric wellness shots

After a long weekend, a turmeric wellness shot might be just what you need to get back on your feet. This simple concoction will give you energy, immunity, and if you’re lucky, absolve you of your weekend mishaps. On top of that, wellness shots can aid digestion and improve blood circulation. Here’s a recipe to try out for yourself:

Ingredients: 

  • One orange 
  • Two lemons 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh turmeric
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
  • A dash of cayenne pepper

Directions: 

Use a blender or juicer to mix ingredients into a liquid consistency. Then strain through with a nut milk bag or mesh strainer. Divide into glasses and enjoy! 

Tumeric Supplements

1611354648076176 turmeric supplements

Daily supplements are the easiest way to incorporate turmeric into your daily life. People who have taken turmeric supplements have seen noticeable changes in their mental and physical health. Turmeric does wonders for your mind as it focuses on supporting the happy chemicals in your brain. Select a reputable brand, and see if you notice any differences. 

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Tea (Golden Milk)

1611354909812313 turmeric golden milk recipe image

Golden Milk Tea is one of turmeric’s most common uses. This Instagram-worthy beverage can assist in lowering cholesterol levels, quell excessive bloating, and remedy chronic headaches. Another surprising benefit of Golden Milk is that it contains no caffeine, meaning you can enjoy a cup at any time of the day without experiencing jittery side effects. There are many renditions of the Golden Milk recipe, but it is important to begin your preparations with a turmeric and black pepper paste. Get L’OFFICIEL’s recipe for the healthy beverage here.

Turmeric For The Skin: 6 Benefits, DIY, Cautions & More

By Alexandra Engler (via MindBodyGreen)

There are certain ingredients that pass the test of time because they really provide the benefits that come attached to their mystic. Then there are the ingredients that span multiple categories—showing up in medicine, beauty, food, and so on—because they function as an impressive multitasker. Turmeric happens to be both. 

The golden spice is beloved in ayurvedic tradition, and since many other cultures have picked up on its benefits. This is even true of modern-day well-being, which puts turmeric on a much-deserved pedestal. 

It’s also, we might add, a much wowed-about skin care ingredient. So if you see it pop up on the ingredient list of your favorite face mask—or are curious about trying it as a DIY active—read up on the laundry list of benefits, below. 

What is turmeric?

This yellow ayurvedic ingredient holds an esteemed place in well-being and skin care circles alike. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory herb made from the root of Curcuma zedoaria (a cousin to ginger) that’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and is native to Southeast Asia. The primary active in the herb is curcumin. Traditionally (and in modern iterations, too), it has been used as an ingredient in meals (it’s what gives curry powder its hue), as a healing tonic or supplement, and even formulated into ancient skin elixirs for beautifying rituals.

“In India turmeric is used heavily in cooking, beauty, and herbal remedies because it is really thought to be a hugely beneficial root. The two benefits I hear the most are brightening and reducing inflammation,” says ayurvedic beauty expert Michelle Ranavat, founder of Ranavat Botanics.

What’s great about the ingredient is experts, research, and anecdotal evidence all agree: It’s a multitasking wonder. “From joint pain, acne, to even hormone imbalances, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory that packs a punch,” says Taz Bhatia, M.D., integrative medicine physician and mbg Collective member.

6 science-backed benefits of turmeric for the skin.

On that latter point: Why does turmeric make an appearance in so many skin care items for so long? Well, it has pretty impressive skin-benefiting qualities. We should note that because turmeric’s power is thanks to the curcumin, much of the research is geared around that—but can be applied to turmeric as well. 

  1. Anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the root of many skin woes, like eczema, rosacea, acne, and premature lines and wrinkles. See, inflammation does a number on your skin, including breaking down collagen, triggering breakouts, and spurring chronic conditions. So to keep skin feeling supple and bright, it’s vital to keep inflammation down. One way to do this is through anti-inflammatory topicals, such as turmeric. Turmeric inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory genes, blocking the inflammatory response pathway. Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties offer a protective benefit.
  2. Antioxidant. Free radicals are a naturally occurring part of your body; however, they can become problematic fast. These unstable molecules harm healthy ones in the body, and when they become rampant it leads to oxidative stress (something your skin absolutely does not want). Turmeric has been shown to increase the body’s natural antioxidant capacity, boosting your defense system against free-radical damage.
  3. Antimicrobial. The ingredient also has an impressive ability to balance good bacteria and bad bacteria on the skin, thanks to its antimicrobial properties. While this can help skin health generally, specifically it’s beneficial for dealing with acne, as one of the components of breakouts is an overabundance of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. 
  4. Soothes skin conditions. Thanks to all of the above characteristics, turmeric has been shown in preliminary research to treat specific skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Researchers in these studies note that more work is needed to see the actual application method for efficacy—and whether it should be combined with other treatments and modalities—but it’s a promising start. 
  5. Aids in wound healing. Wound healing is an underrated benefit of many botanicals, including turmeric. Your body’s ability to heal itself is paramount to skin health, and unfortunately, this declines with age. Curcumin has been shown to aid this process by reducing inflammation and neutralizing oxidation, which allows the skin to repair itself faster with less residual damage. 
  6. Brightens. Perhaps the most commercially marketed benefit of turmeric is that it can help brighten tone and relieve dark spotsthanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. “This combination is hugely important because often, certain kinds of hyperpigmentation occur due to past inflammation. Using an ingredient like turmeric breaks the cycle,” says Ranavat.

How to use turmeric for the skin at home.

There are many impressive ways to use the active in your skin care routine. But before we dive in, a quick debrief on the type of turmeric used in topicals (or things you put on your skin) rather than the type of turmeric you ingest. Food-grade turmeric is the type you’ll find in little spice jars at any standard grocery store, and that’s the type you’ll use for food or drink. This type, however, causes stains easily. This is why many people who regularly use turmeric as a topical ingredient use something called kasturi turmeric, which does not come with coloring issues—this type, however, you cannot eat and tends to be harder to find. 

The conclusion? Just be mindful of the type you’re using and how you’re using it. 

1. Golden milk 

You can improve your skin from the inside out with this much-beloved marigold-hued tonic. In its most basic iteration, golden milk is a hot or cold beverage that’s made by combining either turmeric powder or fresh turmeric root with the milk of your choosing (almond, coconut, cashew, etc.). Often, several more flavor-boosting ingredients are added to the recipe such as black pepperginger, cinnamon, and honey. The milk has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help soothe skin internally, neutralize free radicals, and fight signs of premature aging. In fact, board-certified family medicine physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., says she drinks a family recipe regularly: “There is definitely truth and power in turmeric,” she notes. 

2. DIY mask

Two-ingredient turmeric face masks are oh-so-easy to whip together. We recommend using a base of yogurt: “Mixing turmeric with yogurt as a base gives a nice texture to spread on your face as a mask,” says Marisa Plescia, research scientist at clean beauty e-tailer NakedPoppy. “Plus, yogurt is full of probiotics that could help balance the skin’s microbiome.” Then mix in ⅛ to ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Apply an even layer to the skin, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes, then remove with warm water. Always remember to seal in the moisture with a cream or oil so you don’t dry your skin out further. 

3. Spot treatment

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it may help calm breakouts—especially the angry, red kind. The best part is that making yourself a little spot treatment is easy and fairly customizable. You can choose from a base of yogurt (the good bacteria can help your body deal with the bad bacteria that’s causing the breakouts), aloe (which has soothing properties, too, as well as hydrating ones as not to cause dry scabs post-zit), or apple cider vinegar (a popular acne-fighter in its own right, thanks to the natural alpha-hydroxy acids). To make it, simply add a dash of the powder to your selected base, blend, and apply to affected areas. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, rinse, and continue with your standard face routine. 

Products

Of course, you can simply buy products with the golden active in it. Here, our favorites.

<img src="https://mindbodygreen-res.cloudinary.com/images/w_767,q_auto:eco,f_auto,fl_lossy/org/f267iosewkjxf4q14/ranavat-botanicals-face-serum.png&quot; alt="ranavat botanicals face serum" title="<p>Ranavat Botanicals Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum

Ranavat Botanicals Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum 

$135 BUY NOW

<img src="https://mindbodygreen-res.cloudinary.com/images/w_767,q_auto:eco,f_auto,fl_lossy/org/qhxa44rgfkjxf6fkd/the-inky-list-tumeric.png&quot; alt="the inky list tumeric " title="<p>The INKEY List Turmeric Brightening Moisturizer

The INKEY List Turmeric Brightening Moisturizer

$12.99 BUY NOW

<img src="https://mindbodygreen-res.cloudinary.com/images/w_767,q_auto:eco,f_auto,fl_lossy/org/rola99c3vkjxf80c3/uma-oil-mask.png&quot; alt="uma oil mask" title="<p>UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask

UMA Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask

$70 BUY NOW

<img src="https://mindbodygreen-res.cloudinary.com/images/w_767,q_auto:eco,f_auto,fl_lossy/org/1lhwfdutwkjxf9dmr/gleamin-face-mask.png&quot; alt="gleamin face mask" title="<p>Gleamin Vitamin C Clay Mask

Gleamin Vitamin C Clay Mask

$39.99 BUY NOW

Cautions 

As always with any new product or DIY experiment, do a patch test before slathering on; just because you can consume the spice doesn’t mean your skin will tolerate it the same way. Sometimes people can have unexpected reactions to the topical treatment, especially if you have sensitive skin

Finally, we’d be remiss not to discuss traditional turmeric’s bright orange hue, which makes for a beautiful mask, sure, but turmeric is also notorious for staining (your clothes and your skin, it turns out). To avoid tinging your face orange, use just a small amount of the spice in your DIY adventures. Or, you can find the aforementioned kasturi turmeric and avoid this problem altogether. 

And the worst-case scenario: The staining is only temporary. So don’t freak! “Curcumin, the main component of turmeric, is oil-soluble,” says Plescia. So a gentle oil cleanser should be able to remove the pigment, even if it does take a couple of times for it to totally clear. Even if you leave the stain alone completely, the sebum in your skin will lift off the pigment eventually. 

As for ingesting the spice, if you take too much curcumin, it can cause bleeding and bruising, says Yufang Lin, M.D., an integrative medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic. So stick to the typical dosing, which is usually around 500 milligrams max per day. “Allergic reaction and intolerance—such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and reflux—are possible,” Lin adds, but this is extremely rare. 

The takeaway. 

There’s a reason this ingredient has stuck around—and keeps on popping up, for that matter: It’s a soothing, anti-inflammatory miracle addition to any skin care routine.