Can Turmeric be the answer to a long healthy life?

Can Turmeric be the ultimate remedy? The answer to a healthy vibrant long life?

Most of us know what Turmeric is – it is that yellow spice which is the main spice in curry, and when you spill it on fabric or wood, it is nearly often impossible to remove!

But today, it is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin.

Of the 6000+ studies referencing curcumin, the most interesting finding is that when turmeric is compared to conventional medicine its benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications.

In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is more advantageous than certain prescription drugs.

The reason for turmeric’s health effects is the compound known as curcumin. Just as oranges are a source of vitamin c, turmeric is a source of curcumin.

A typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin so taking a unstandardized powdered turmeric root product means that very large amounts is required to get a beneficial amount of curcumin. Curcumin is unfortunately poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract so curcumin supplementation is a better choice for health benefits.

Research shows that turmeric benefits go beyond that of the following drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-depressants (Prozac)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
  • Pain killers
  • Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
  • Arthritis medications
  • Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
  • Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
  • Steroids

Although in actual fact the list is much longer, these 10 drugs pale in comparison to turmeric in potentially reversing disease and there is a lack of side effects!

Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets – such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Warfarin just to name a few have multiple side effects including back pain, headaches and difficulty breathing. Whilst turmeric has relatively no known side effects unless taken in excessive amounts. Studies started in the mid 1980s have proven that turmeric is actually a better option for those with vascular thrombosis.

Anti-inflammatories – the most powerful aspect of curcumin is its ability to control inflammation.

The journal Oncogene published the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory compounds and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are lesd effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.

This news should have reached every household in the world after the study was conducted because inflammation puts people at risk for almost every disease process known to man.

Diseases today such as cancer, ulcerative colitis arthritis, high cholesterol and chronic pain can be the result of inflammation.

Turmeric’s key to disease reversal may be its ability to keep inflammation at bay.” 

Arthritis management – a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to arthritis drugs (diclofenac sodium), that put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease.

The study split these volunteers into three groups: curcumin treatment alone, diclofenac sodium alone, and a combination of the two. The results of the trial were eye-opening:

“The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events. Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.”

Published by Phytotherapy Research in 2012.

 Cancer treatment – “A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells. 

A 2007 American study that combined curcumin with chemotherapy to treat bowel cancer cells in a laboratory showed that the combined treatment killed more cancer cells than the chemotherapy alone. 

States-side, the American Cancer Society states,

Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Researchers have reported that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.

Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”

 Diabetes management – there is arguably no better natural treatment for lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance than supplementing with curcumin.

In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study out of Auburn University that explored how supplementing with turmeric helps reverse diabetes.

“The study discovered that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than Metformin (a common diabetes drug) in activating AMPK which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Type 2 Diabetes.  

In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.

Take, for instance, diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy. One of the most common complications of diabetes is damaged blood vessels which cause blindness.

A study found that supplementing with curcumin will delay this horrible complication of diabetes because of its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”

Gastrointestinal treatments – frequently people with digestive and stomach complaints become intolerant to medical interventions because the stomach flora is already compromised and prescription medication can literally tear up the lining of the gut’s walls.

Studies have shown that curcumin has the ability to manage IBS, Chron’s disease, and Ulcerative Colitis. Many patients were able to stop taking their prescribed corticosteroids because their condition improved so dramatically by taking curcumin! 

For many patients with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) corticosteroids reduce their pain symptoms, but damage the intestinal lining over time actually making the condition worse.

However, curcumin did not have these side effects and, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, actually helped heal the gut and supported the growth of good bacteria (probiotics).

Cholesterol regulators – Due to the shocking diet of so many of us today, there has been an alarming rise of people developing pre-diabetes (excessive blood sugar).

In turn, diabetics and non-diabetics alike are suffering from a common complication called oxidative stress, which damages the inside of blood vessels.  Because of this damage to the arteries, cholesterol builds up to patch up the damaged areas which leads to high levels of LDL cholesterol.

Statin drugs (like Lipitor) are widely known to harm the kidneys and liver and cause a number of deadly side effects.  They do bring cholesterol down but never address the actual cause which is oxidative stress caused by high blood sugar levels and inflammation.

“A study done by Drugs in R & D found that curcumin was equal or more effective than diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the treatment of high cholesterol”  

Painkillers – Curcumin is widely accepted and acknowledged for treating pain. There is a wide array of pain conditions that can be treated by curcumin such as severe burns.

Steroids– In cases where steroids are often used such as:

  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Chronic inflammation

Curcumin is able to treat all of these conditions without any of the side effects caused through the use of Steroids.    

Its effect on the brain – this information was of great interest to me because of my head injury caused through falling through my balcony and my head landing on a pile of decent sized stones! There have also been indications of a protective effect in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no real disease-modifying therapy), multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury.

There have also been signs of antidepressant properties through an interaction of curcumin with dopamine receptors and an increase in brain dopamine levels.So far researchers concluded that the main mechanism of action is the inhibition of monoamine oxidase inhibitor-A, an enzyme that is the target of the MOA-inhibitor class of antidepressant medications, that curcumin can enhance the effect of traditional antidepressant medications like Prozac and Effexor,

Anti -Aging – If you are healthy and do not have any of the above diseases, taking curcumin will keep you in great health – or assist in turning back the hands of time thanks to its ability to treat those things that age us such as oxidative stress. It assists digestion, supports the liver and deals with any form of inflammation which we now know is the ultimate cause of aging.

As with all natural things, some people have reported allergic reactions to turmeric, especially after skin exposure. Some get a mild, itchy rash. In addition, high doses of turmeric (over 8 gms) have been observed to cause:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Increased liver function tests
  • Hyperactive gallbladder contractions
  • Hypotension (lowered blood pressure)
  • Uterine contractions in pregnant women
  • Increased menstrual flow

People taking certain medications should also be careful when using turmeric in their food or supplementing with it. Turmeric may interfere with anti-coagulants like aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin. It also can affect medications such as non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. As with any herb or supplement, use as directed.

If you’re in the position where you must be on prescription medications, don’t discount the need to include ample amounts of fresh, organic turmeric into your diet because it will help reduce the adverse affects of the medicine.

A study that was published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology describes how taking curcumin whilst on prednisolone (a steroid) effectively reduced the side effects of this dangerous medication.

My preferred Curcumin product is Bioglan Clinical Curcumin

Much of the information in this blog post is thanks to Dr Axe 

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