Benefits Of Curcumin

Anti-Inflammatory

Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, western disease. Inflammation is a disease of vigorous uncontrolled activated immune responses.

Curcumin is an outstanding anti-inflammatory, easily as powerful in the right dose as any common anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or other dangerous side effects (1).

Arthritis

In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug, with no side effects.

It lessened joint inflammation and destruction,  preventing the increased production of a protein that triggers swelling and pain (2).

Cancer

Over 800 reports have been published demonstrating the anticancer potential of curcumin (3). Curcumin can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumours), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancer cells (cell apoptosis) (4).

In one study of 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40% (5). In the laboratory it has inhibited the growth of cancerous cells (6)(7).

Curcumin mediates body processes which help to resurrect immune detection of cancer cells (8).

Depression and Anxiety

People with depression often have inflammation and oxidative stress, which can decrease levels of serotonin and dopamine leading to reduced brain function. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin can restore neurotransmitters, leading to improved mood. Studies show curcumin is as effective as Prozac in managing mild depression (9).
In one clinical trial, from the fourth week of treatment through the eighth week, there was a significantly greater improvement in scores in the curcumin group than the placebo group (10).

Digestive Health

There is no accepted cure for IBS. It is one of the most common disorders seen in gastroenterology practices, and is associated with diminished health-related quality of life. Two pilot studies found abdominal pain and discomfort reduced significantly with no side effects. Volunteers were also able to reduce their medications (11)(12).

Gout

Animal research found that curcumin reduced the levels of blood urate and increased the excretion of uric acid via urine. Human research published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 2016, showed that 1000mg of curcumin per day for 8 weeks lowers cholesterol levels and uric acid levels in individuals suffering from non alcoholic fatty liver disease (13).

A further study suggested that curcumin inhibits the action of an enzyme thus preventing uric acid formation while other researchers have found that curcumin may not affect this enzyme (14)(15).

Boosted Absorption

Rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall can be overcome by the addition of black pepper, thus allowing the medicinal properties to be utilised (21).

Reconstituting curcumin with the non-curcuminoid components of turmeric has been found to increase the bioavailability substantially  due to the essential oils (22).

Multiple Sclerosis

A 2015 study found that curcumin possesses neuroprotective properties i.e. it acts against nerve damage causing agents by moderating the levels of phospholipases, enzymes central to neural inflammation and damage to the brain (18).
An animal study confirmed a significant decrease in the amounts of demyelination, inflammation and blood brain barrier breaking down. Gene expression studies showed a corrected balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory gene expression, decreased oxidative stress, improved re-myelination and increased progenitor cell markers after treatment (19).

Human Trials

As at 2013, nearly 100 human clinical trials have found curcumin to be effective in Tumour Necrosis Factor-associated human diseases such as: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.

TNFs are major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases, hence, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of blockers of the cytokine, TNF-α, for the treatment of many diseases. These drugs are expensive ($15,000–$20,000 per person per year), have to be injected and have enough adverse effects to be given a black label warning by the FDA. In contrast, curcumin is very inexpensive, orally bioavailable and safe in humans, and trials evidence that curcumin can block TNF-α action and production in in vitro models, in animal models and in humans (20).

High Blood Pressure

Curcumin was found to reduce blood pressure by lowering the excess platelet aggregation in sticky, clot-forming blood (16). It also influences hormones that control blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. An animal study found curcumin relaxes blood vessels which reduces resistance to blood flow and hence hypertension (17).

Benefits Of Curcumin

Anti-Inflammatory

Chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, western disease. Inflammation is a disease of vigorous uncontrolled activated immune responses.

Curcumin is an outstanding anti-inflammatory, easily as powerful in the right dose as any common anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the increased risk of heart attack or stroke, or other dangerous side effects (1).

Arthritis

In a study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug, with no side effects.

It lessened joint inflammation and destruction, presumably by blocking inflammatory pathways, thereby preventing the increased production of a protein that triggers swelling and pain (2).

Cancer

Over 800 reports have been published demonstrating the anticancer potential of curcumin (3). Curcumin can reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumours), metastasis (spread of cancer), as well as contributing to the death of cancer cells (cell apoptosis) (4).

In one study of 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day for 30 days reduced the number of lesions by 40% (5). In the laboratory it has inhibited the growth of cancerous cells (6)(7).

Curcumin mediates body processes which help to resurrect immune detection of cancer cells (8).

Depression and Anxiety

People with depression often have inflammation and oxidative stress, which can decrease levels of serotonin and dopamine leading to reduced brain function. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin can restore neurotransmitters, leading to improved mood. Studies show curcumin is as effective as Prozac in managing mild depression (9).
In one clinical trial, from the fourth week of treatment through the eighth week, there was a significantly greater improvement in scores in the curcumin group than the placebo group (10).

Digestive Health

There is no accepted cure for IBS. It is one of the most common disorders seen in gastroenterology practices, and is associated with diminished health-related quality of life. Two pilot studies found abdominal pain and discomfort reduced significantly with no side effects. Volunteers were also able to reduce their medications (11)(12).

Gout

Animal research found that curcumin reduced the levels of blood urate and increased the excretion of uric acid via urine. Human research published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 2016, showed that 1000mg of curcumin per day for 8 weeks lowers cholesterol levels and uric acid levels in individuals suffering from non alcoholic fatty liver disease (13).

A further study suggested that curcumin inhibits the action of an enzyme thus preventing uric acid formation while other researchers have found that curcumin may not affect this enzyme (14)(15).

Boosted Absorption

Rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall can be overcome by the addition of Black Pepper, thus allowing the medicinal properties to be utilised (21).

Reconstituting curcumin with the non-curcuminoid components of turmeric has been found to increase the bioavailability substantially  due to the essential oils (22).

Multiple Sclerosis

A 2015 study found that curcumin possesses neuroprotective properties i.e. it acts against nerve damage causing agents by moderating the levels of phospholipases, enzymes central to neural inflammation and damage to the brain (18).
An animal study confirmed a significant decrease in the amounts of demyelination, inflammation and Blood Brain Barrier breaking down. Gene expression studies showed a corrected balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory gene expression, decreased oxidative stress, improved re-myelination and increased progenitor cell markers after treatment (19).

Human Trials

As at 2013, nearly 100 human clinical trials have found curcumin to be effective in TNF-associated human diseases such as: Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Metabolic diseases, Neurological diseases, Skin diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohns disease and Psoriasis.

TNFs are major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases, hence, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of blockers of the cytokine, TNF-α, for the treatment of many diseases. These drugs are expensive ($15,000–$20,000 per person per year), have to be injected and have enough adverse effects to be given a black label warning by the FDA. In contrast, Curcumin is very inexpensive, orally bioavailable and highly safe in humans, and trials evidence that curcumin can block TNF-α action and production in in vitro models, in animal models and in humans (20).

High Blood Pressure

Curcumin was found to reduce blood pressure by lowering the excess platelet aggregation in sticky, clot-forming blood (16). It also influences hormones that control blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. An animal study found curcumin relaxes blood vessels which reduces resistance to blood flow and hence hypertension (17).

REFERENCES

[1] Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044
[2] A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407780
[3] Potential Therapeutic Effects of Curcumin, the Anti-inflammatory Agent, Against Neurodegenerative, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Metabolic, Autoimmune and Neoplastic Disease https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637808/
[4] Curcumin (diferuloyl-methane) enhances tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-induced apoptosis in LNCaP prostate cancer cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12533677
[5] Phase IIa Clinical Trial of Curcumin for the Prevention of Colorectal Neoplasia http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/4/3/354.long
[6] Chemopreventive Effect of Curcumin, a Naturally Occurring Anti-Inflammatory Agent, during the Promotion/Progression Stages of Colon Cancer http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/59/3/597.short
[7] Curcumin as an Anti-Cancer Agent: Review of the Gap Between Basic and Clinical Applications http://www.eurekaselect.com/70722/article
[8] Curcumin and tumor immune-editing: resurrecting the immune system https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4603973/
[9] Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Efficacy+and+Safety+of+Curcumin+in+Major+Depressive+Disorder%3A+A+Randomized+Controlled+Trial
[10] Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25046624
[11] Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16240238
[12] Turmeric extract may improve irritable bowel syndrome symptomology in otherwise healthy adults: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15673996
[13] Curcumin Lowers Serum Lipids and Uric Acid in Subjects With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27124606
[14] Insights into the inhibition of xanthine oxidase by curcumin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19800788
[15] Inhibition Studies of Bovine Xanthine Oxidase by Luteolin, Silibinin, Quercetin, and Curcumin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673521/
[16] Inhibitory effect of curcumin, a food spice from turmeric, on platelet-activating factor- and arachidonic acid-mediated platelet aggregation through inhibition of thromboxane formation and Ca2+ signaling. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10484074
[17] Curcumin Exerts its Anti-hypertensive Effect by Down-regulating the AT1 Receptor in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27146402
[18] Synthetic and natural inhibitors of phospholipases A2: their importance for understanding and treatment of neurological disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25891385
[19] Polymerized nano-curcumin attenuates neurological symptoms in EAE model of multiple sclerosis through down regulation of inflammatory and oxidative processes and enhancing neuroprotection and myelin repair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26211978
[20] Curcumin: an orally bioavailable blocker of TNF and other pro-inflammatory biomarkers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753829/#b83
[21] Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9619120
[22] A Pilot Cross-Over Study to Evaluate Human Oral Bioavailability of BCM-95®CG (Biocurcumax™), A Novel Bioenhanced Preparation of Curcumin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792534/