Curcumin is the spice extract gaining attention for its awe-inspiring impact on many ailments.
Curcumin is an ancient spice in the Ginger family, extracted from Turmeric root. Its history goes back over 5,000 years to the heyday of Ayurveda. Today we know Curcumin is a most impressive antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells, and with powerful anti- inflammatory properties.
Anyone doubting that there is any real science to support the Curcumin story might be in for a surprise. A search of Medline on the internet reveals some 1,800 studies. What is it about Curcumin that has so many scientists excited? The starting point is inflammation, known to play a major role in the development of most diseases including: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, neurological diseases (including Alzheimer’s) and autoimmune diseases.
Curcumin works in two ways in the body: firstly its ‘prevention/protective’ mode helps prevent the formation of free radicals. Secondly its ‘Scavenger’ mode neutralises the already formed free radicals.
With its dual action of prevention and intervention, Curcumin outperforms other antioxidants. You could say Curcumin is the ‘Heavyweight Champion’ of antioxidants! Some researchers say it’s the most important herb in the world, because in the body it acts on multiple targets and at multiple levels.
Can we obtain sufficient Curcumin just by sprinkling Turmeric onto our food? Unfortunately not. Turmeric spice contains only 2-5% Curcumin and, because it is insoluble in water, even this is very difficult to absorb. It is therefore necessary to take Curcumin as a supplement.
- Healthy Lungs
- Healthy Cell Division
- Healthy Joints
- Healthy Immune Response & Anti-inflammatory
- Healthy Nerve Sheaths
- Healthy Brain and Aging
- Healthy Skin
- Healthy Heart, Blood Flow and Circulation
- Healthy Eyes and Lens
IF CURCUMIN WORKS SO WELL, WHY DON’T WE HEAR MORE ABOUT IT?
A lot of the research into Curcumin has focused on cancers. Scientists are excited about Curcumin because it has been shown consistently to inhibit NF-kB.
According to cancer researcher Bharat Aggarwal, a professor of cancer medicine at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre University of Texas, the incidence of the top 4 cancers in the US – colon, breast, prostate and lung – is as much as 10 times lower in India where significant amounts of Turmeric are consumed daily. Prof Aggarwal says:
“We have not found a single cancer on which Curcumin does not work.”
Prof Aggarwal’s hypothesis is that most cancers exhibit activated NF-kB, which in turn promotes the proliferation and metastasis of tumours. Blocking of NF-kB suppresses the formation of tumours.
If Curcumin is so effective you might wonder why haven’t we been told more about it? In an interview with Reuters, Prof Aggarwal explained that Curcumin is a natural compound and no pharmaceutical drug company can reap the financial rewards if it proves to be effective. This, however, hasn’t stopped some companies trying to patent it. In the late 1990s the US Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for Turmeric to the University of Mississippi. The Indian Government appealed and the patent was withdrawn.
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