Turmeric or curcumin
When looking at the benefits of turmeric it is important to remember that most studies are carried out using curcumin which is the most active component of turmeric. What this means is that it is very difficult to get the benefits by just consuming turmeric itself and it is best to take a quality curcumin supplement.
Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. Let’s look at what this actually means.
Curcumin as an anti-inflammatory
A small amount of inflammation is needed in our bodies to fight illnesses etc. Chronic or long term inflammation is what is undesirable. Chronic inflammation, it appears, is involved in many chronic health conditions.
Curcumin works in many different ways to reduce inflammation and has been shown in studies to be as effective as pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory medicines without the side effects.
Curcumin as an antioxidant
Molecules called free radicals can react with substances in our bodies (a process called oxidation) and cause damage that can cause disease and aging. Antioxidants are so important in our bodies as they protect us from free radicals.
Curcumin is so important as it works to block free radicals as well as improve the way our bodies own antioxidants work.
Curcumin can help to prevent/treat
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Heart disease
- Alzheimers disease
Any medicine can cause side effects. Turmeric and curcumin generally cause no side effects at the recommended dose. People prone to kidney stones should be cautious as there may be increased chance of this. Headache and diarrhoea can occur at high doses.
As with any food or supplement it is important to choose one that is organic or comes from a reputable manufacturer.