I just wrote about curcumin (an abstract of turmeric) on Multiple Myeloma Blog.com:
But that was multiple myeloma specific. This naturally occurring compound offers many health advantages; anti-cancer properties being one of them. Here’s a lengthy excerpt from a Huffington Post profile of the healthy spice:
6 Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Sara Klein – October 18, 2014
It’s a quintessential spice in curry, a relative of ginger and one of the healthiest ways to add flavor — and color! — to a home-cooked meal.
Turmeric has been used to relieve everything from liver problems to depression to ringworm in folk medicine, but, like many alternative therapies, there’s not always much research to back up the ancient wisdom.
But that doesn’t mean turmeric’s powers are to be discredited altogether. Here, a look at what we do know about this powerful seasoning.
Turmeric can tame heartburn and an upset stomach.
In a small 1989 study, supplements made from the turmeric plant were found to be more effective at curbing heartburn and indigestion symptoms than a placebo, possibly because of the plant’s known powers to fight inflammation, Everyday Health reported. Curcumin, the compound in turmeric responsible for that bright hue, is behind a whole host of the health benefits attributed to the spice. A 2012 study examined one perk of curcumin in particular: the ability of the extract to prevent heart attacks among bypass patients. The study followed 121 patients who had bypass surgery between 2009 and 2011. Three days before surgery through five days after, half of the patients took curcumin capsules, while the other half took placebo pills. During their post-bypass hospital stays, more people in the placebo group experienced a heart attack (30 percent) compared with those in the curcumin group (13 percent), Reuters reported. While not a substitute for medication, the researchers pointed out, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may contribute to as much as a 65 percent lower chance of heart attack among bypass patients.
… Delay diabetes…
Among people with prediabetes, curcumin capsules were found to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in a 2012 study. Over nine months, study participants were given either curcumin supplements or placebo capsules. Just over 16 percent of people taking the placebo pill were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes by the end of the study, while no one taking curcumin was. Again, researchers chalk these results up to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers of the compound.
… And even fight cancer.
While studies in humans are still in very early stages, lab and animal studies have shown promising effects of curcumin in the fight against cancer. Curcumin “interferes with several important molecular pathways involved in cancer development, growth and spread,” according to the American Cancer Society, even killing cancer cells in the lab setting and shrinking tumors and boosting the effects of chemotherapy in animals.
Another compound in turmeric may protect the brain.
Aromatic turmerone or ar-turmerone is not as well-studied as curcumin, but it also likely plays a part in the turmeric puzzle. In a recent study, researchers found ar-turmerone promotes repair to stems cells in the brain. The study examined the effects of the compound in rats on a type of stem cell that is also found in adult brains. These stem cells are involved in recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s. The compound could potentially be used in the treatment of these diseases in the future, the findings suggest.
The new study builds upon a larger body of research suggesting curcumin may improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients, due to a wide range of possible pathways, according to a 2008 review…
There are some great pictures, too. Here’s the link:
And don’t forget the piperine! Minimum of 20 mg, per Dr. Abrams , a collaborator with the well known complimentary medicine guru, Dr. Weil.
Pattie and I recommend curcumin over any other supplement. Ginger is a close second; also an anti-inflammatory.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat and Pattie