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Health benefits of curcumin, the turmeric extract

Curcumin regulates blood sugar levels and improves the body’s insulin receptor functioning. It also reduces the damage caused by harmful liver enzymes that release sugar into the bloodstream.

SNS | New Delhi |

Like many spices, turmeric (Curcuma longa) has a long history of use in traditional medicine. This flavor-filled spice is primarily cultivated from the rhizomes, or roots, of a flowering plant that grows in India and other parts of Southeast Asia, and aside from giving curry its vibrant yellow color, turmeric is also known for having potent anti-inflammatory properties.

The primary active component of turmeric — and the one that gives the spice its characteristic yellow color — is curcumin. Indeed, you can credit curcumin with most of turmeric’s potential health benefits.

Turmeric has been reported to have many health benefits. Its use as a medicine dates back nearly 4000 years. Over the past few decades, modern medicine has increased research into turmeric’s reputation for healing. Curcumin is at the heart of the research, as it’s the source of many of turmeric’s healthful properties.

Curcumin is a discreet bio-active compound and is what gives turmeric its bright color. It was first isolated by scientists around the turn of the 20th century, and its antibacterial properties were first demonstrated in 1949. Subsequent research showed it to have anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant properties, and several other marked benefits.

Claims about the health benefits of curcumin abound. Traditionally, it was used to treat skin disorders, upper respiratory tract disorders, joint pain, digestive problems, and more. Modern research has confirmed some of these long-understood health benefits and helped demonstrate the biological mechanisms behind them.

Some curcumin health benefits include:

Anti-inflammation

Studies have shown that curcumin’s strong anti-inflammatory properties can help the body reduce inflammation at the cellular level. Some research also points to curcumin being able to alleviate inflammation in the middle layer of the eye, and also reduces kidney inflammation.

Diabetes

Curcumin regulates blood sugar levels and improves the body’s insulin receptor functioning. It also reduces the damage caused by harmful liver enzymes that release sugar into the bloodstream.

Cancer

Curcumin’s anti-angiogenic properties are believed to stop cancer cells from forming new blood vessels for blood supply and fuel. They are also said to destroy cancer cell mitochondria, disrupt the cancer cell cycle and, prevent the further formation of cancer cells.

Cholesterol

Curcumin can significantly reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels when taken regularly and coupled with a healthy diet and fitness routine. In some cases, studies have shown that serum cholesterol levels were reduced by 17% and triglycerides by 47%. Curcumin has also been known to increase HDL or good cholesterol levels.

Pain relief

Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties also offer relief from aches and pains and stiff joints. Research shows that people suffering from arthritis and joint pains have reported considerable improvement after taking curcumin supplements boosted with piperine or black pepper extract.