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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.
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 (10, 11Trusted 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 Source, 13, 14).
Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
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 Source, 31Trusted 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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
Two cups of almond milk
One teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
two tablespoons of maple syrup
Simply warm the milk to your desired temperature, add ingredients, and enjoy.
Healing Tumeric 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:
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
In a saucepan combine turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup (optional), cayenne, and filtered water. Bring to a simmer, strain, and then serve.
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
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:
One tablespoon of plain Greek Yogurt
One tablespoon of honey
One tablespoon of turmeric
Mix all ingredients and apply to face for no longer than 15 minutes.
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
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:
1/4 cup chopped fresh turmeric
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
1/8 tsp fresh black pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 pepper, ginger, 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.
Of course, you can simply buy products with the golden active in it. Here, our favorites.
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.
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.